HISD board chooses not to name Dr. Grenita Lathan permanent superintendent
Dr. Grenita Lathan

HISD’s Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan announced her departure on social media Monday, saying that she’s accepted the job of superintendent for Springfield Public School District in Missouri.

Lathan, who called the decision bittersweet, has served Houston students and staff for six years.

“The students, teachers, principals, staff, parents and community of HISD are close to my heart, and I leave knowing that they are resilient and stronger together,” Lathan wrote in a message on Twitter. “Their light will keep shining through and they will continue to be known for their innovation and success.”

Lathan has acted as interim superintendent for the state’s largest school district for the last three years, since the previous leader Richard Carranza left abruptly for New York City in March 2018.

During her tenure, she’s had to deal with the district’s recovery from Hurricane Harvey, the threat of a state takeover because of long-struggling schools — a possibility that continues in the courts — and most recently, the global pandemic and its deep effects on public education.

Some HISD board members tried to give Lathan the permanent job of superintendent last fall, but the majority of the board decided to launch a national search instead.

In a statement, school board President Patricia Allen on Monday thanked Lathan for her service to the district.

“From moving numerous HISD campuses out of improvement required status to her strong leadership during several major weather events and a global pandemic, she has truly been a beacon for our students, staff, and families,” Allen said. “We wish her well.”