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HISD Trustees Tap Chief Academic Officer Grenita Lathan As Acting Superintendent

Lathan will take over the state’s largest school district, after outgoing Superintendent Richard Carranza announced his departure to be Chancellor of New York City schools

Grenita Lathan has been chosen as acting Superintendent, after the departure of Superintendent Richard Carranza.

After a marathon session of over nine hours behind closed doors, the HISD Board of Trustees appointed Chief Academic Officer Grenita Lathan as interim superintendent, just before midnight on Thursday. 

She will take over the state’s largest school district, since outgoing superintendent Richard Carranza announced he’s leaving for New York, over two weeks ago. Lathan will lead at a time HISD faces unprecedented challenges, including a potential state takeover.

According to a press release, The Houston Independent School District Board of Education unanimously voted to appoint Lathan as interim superintendent. Trustees are still searching for a permanent replacement for the position. The district said Lathan will assume the role of acting superintendent immediately, and she will become interim superintendent on April 1.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to help our schools achieve educational excellence,” Lathan said, in an e-mailed statement. “We are on the right path, and I want to ensure all our students have quality educational opportunities that will prepare them for college or career. I’m fully prepared to lead the district in this season of swift transition.”

According to the district, Lathan joined HISD in 2015, and has served as Chief Academic Officer since the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year. The district also says she is a 26-year veteran educator, and previously served as superintendent of schools for Peoria Public Schools.

“Dr. Lathan has a track record of turning schools around,” said Board of Education President Rhonda Skillern-Jones, in an e-mailed statement. “We are fortunate to have someone of her caliber on our leadership team, and we hope this will be a seamless transition as we continue to move the district forward.”

Here is Lathan’s biographical information, per an HISD press release:

Lathan previously served as superintendent of schools for Peoria Public Schools, where she oversaw approximately 14,000 students and 2,700 staff. She began her education career as a high school teacher in North Carolina and later served as both an assistant principal and principal in the state. She went on to serve as chief elementary school improvement officer of the San Diego Unified School District and as an interim deputy superintendent.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in business education from North Carolina A&T State University, a master’s degree in business education from the University of North Carolina, and a doctoral degree from Southern Illinois University.

The district said the HISD Board of Education accepted Carrazna’s resignation on Thursday, and his last official day will be March 31.

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Laura Isensee

Laura Isensee

Education Reporter

Laura Isensee covers education for Houston Public Media, including K-12 and higher education. Previously, she was a staff reporter at The Miami Herald and contributed to South Florida’s NPR affiliate. Her work has also appeared in The Dallas Morning News, Reuters and Clarín in Argentina. Laura has won awards for...

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