BOSTON

Still No Word on Reason Behind Boston School Superintendent's Departure

"Nothing's pushing me out the door," Superintendent Brenda Cassellius said Tuesday

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Boston Mayor Michelle Wu and Superintendent Brenda Cassellius held a press conference Tuesday, a day after announcing Cassellius' resignation.

Cassellius still hasn't given a specific reason for her departure, saying Tuesday that she remains "just as committed to this city and school district as the day I arrived."

She called her time as superintendent "an incredible opportunity" and said she looks forward to continuing to build on that foundation before she leaves.

"Nothing's pushing me out the door," Cassellius said. "I'm still here for five months."

"My next steps are to continue to do the work I'm doing here in the Boston Public Schools each and every day to make sure our students are getting everything they need."

Wu said she did not ask Cassellius to step down, thanking her for her "steadfast leadership, grace and courage" during what she said were the three most challenging school years Boston has ever seen.

"We are all stronger and better off for her leadership," the mayor said.

Wu unveiled Cassellius's impending departure Monday, calling it a "mutual decision" by the mayor, superintendent and Boston School Committee Chair Jeri Robinson.

Cassellius will step down at the end of the school year, bringing to an end a three-year tenure marked by COVID-19 upheaval and leaving Boston's new mayor with major decisions on the education and policing fronts.

The superintendent of Boston Public Schools will leave at the end of this school year.

Three months into her first term, Wu will now search for a permanent leader to take over atop the city's public schools at the same time that she is engaged in the process of appointing the Boston Police Department's next commissioner.

Cassellius has been Boston's school superintendent since July 2019. Prior to that she served as Minnesota's education commissioner.

Prior to serving as commissioner, she served as the superintendent of the East Metro Integration District, as associate superintendent in the Minneapolis Public School District leading a comprehensive high school redesign initiative, and as academic superintendent of middle schools in Memphis, Tennessee.

Cassellius took the top job in Boston eight months before the pandemic prompted a shift to remote learning that has since transmuted into staffing shortages, mask mandates and other complicated issues. She came under fire from some parents and teachers for her efforts to reopen the schools for in-person last fall. She even briefly served as a classroom teacher in January when roughly 1,200 teachers and staff members called out sick during the omicron surge.

Brenda Cassellius will resign as Boston's superintendent at the end of this school year.

Robinson said Tuesday that the school committee's next meeting is on Feb. 15 and more will be known about the search process after that date.

"We look forward to beginning this process and sharing that with you at that time," she said, adding that the search "will be a community process."

State House News Service contributed to this report.

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