On Monday, Feb. 7, Boston Public Schools (BPS) Superintendent Brenda Cassellius announced that she would be leaving the role at the end of this school year after three years.
In a statement, Cassellius said, “Working alongside so many people – parents, educators, community and faith leaders, and philanthropic partners – all dedicated to helping our children achieve their dreams has given new meaning to my vision of all hands on deck. Together, we’ve laid a stronger foundation upon which BPS can continue to build. I love Boston and I’ve loved this job. My commitment to the district remains as strong as it was on the first day I arrived, and I will forever be a champion and supporter of the Boston Public Schools.”
At a press conference at Brighton High School on Feb. 8, Mayor Michelle Wu said that “I am so grateful to Superintendent Cassellius for her steadfast leadership, her grace, her courage, her unwavering commitment to equity for our young people. She has truly led this district through what I believe are the three most challenging school years that we’ve ever seen in Boston, and we are all stronger and better off for her leadership and I’m so excited for the work that we will continue to do together through the end of this school year and continue to benefit from her guidance and wisdom as we manage this transition process over the next couple months.”
Reporters asked Cassellius why she was leaving, as she had previously said she would like to stay in the role for a number of years.
“I’m just as committed to this district and city as I have been since the day I walked through it,” Cassellius said at the press conference. “Nobody could have anticipated a pandemic and three mayoral changes and just an incredible amount of headwind. It has been an incredible opportunity to lay a strong foundation and to work with Mayor Wu now as she transitions her new leadership team, and I can’t be more excited to be able to support her and to continue on this really exciting foundation that we’ve laid.”
In the last 10 years, Boston has seen four different superintendents: John McDonough as Ain interim, Dr. Tommy Chang, Laura Perille as an interim, and Dr. Brenda Cassellius.
“Nothing’s pushing me out the door,” Cassellius said. “I’m still here for five months, rolling up my sleeves, getting this work done each and every day and just excited about the work that we’ve been able to accomplish…”
When asked about her next steps, Cassellius said “My next steps are to continue to do the work that I’m doing here in Boston Public Schools each and every day to make sure our students are getting everything they need.”
In a letter dated Feb. 7, Wu said that the transition was a “mutual decision.”
She also said that “I am grateful that Superintendent Cassellius will continue to lead BPS through the remainder of this school year to ensure a strong finish to the semester and a smooth transition for our BPS students, families, and dedicated school leaders and staff. The reforms that the Superintendent will continue to lead during this time will set our course for the coming years.”