Grenita Lathan — who has served as interim superintendent of the Houston ISD for three years — is leaving to lead the Springfield, Mo. Public School District, she announced Monday (March 8).
“It’s a bittersweet moment as I accept an opportunity to make a positive impact in the Springfield (Missouri) Public School District, while bidding farewell to one of the most remarkable school districts in the country,” she said in a statement.
Lathan had worked in HISD administration for six years, and since March 2018 as interim superintendent, when Richard Carranza left suddenly to take the top position with the New York City school system. She saw the district through state investigations and resulting constraints, through Hurricane Harvey recovery and other weather episodes, and the COVID-19 pandemic — but was never given the job.
Last November, she was on the losing end of a 6-3 board vote to name her permanent superintendent. The board is in the middle of a search process for a permanent leader. According to its timeline, a new superintendent will be named in late May, starting on the job in June.
In her announcement, Lathan said she would finish the school year in Houston and begin her new position in Missouri July 1.
Patricia Allen, president of the HISD board, thanked Lathan for her service to the district and called her “a beacon for our students, staff, and families.”
In making the move from Texas’ largest school district to Missouri’s largest, Lathan is trading leadership of 286 schools and nearly 200,000 students for 55 schools and programs with about 25,000 students.