CINCINNATI -- Just a week after the successful completion of a new-money levy campaign, Cincinnati Public Schools Superintendent Mary Ronan has announced her retirement.
Ronan served as superintendent for nine years, capping a 40-year career with CPS as a teacher and administrator.
Spirits are riding high at CPS following an emphatic victory for its combined preschool and K-12 school levy, which passed with more than 62 percent of voters approving.
That levy will add $48 million a year to school funding, including $15 million to greatly expand funding for public and private preschool throughout the district.
Cincinnati Public Schools released the following release Thursday regarding the retirement:
Cincinnati Public Schools Superintendent Mary Ronan will retire on Aug. 1, 2017, after nine years as the chief administrator of Southwest Ohio's largest public school system, the school system announced in a news release Thursday morning.
"During Mary's tenure, CPS has made tremendous progress, becoming the highest-performing urban district in the state and extending the district's national reputation for innovative strategies to advance student success," said Cincinnati Board of Education President Ericka Copeland-Dansby.
Ronan's accomplishments include the Elementary Initiative, which significantly improved academic growth in the district's 16 lowest-performing elementary schools; introduction of My Tomorrow, a comprehensive college, career and workforce readiness initiative; and Vision 2020, a multiyear plan designed to respond to district stakeholders' top priority by combining strong curriculum with specialized programming to strengthen neighborhood schools.
Under her leadership, the district’s acclaimed Community Learning Centers expanded to 42 schools, with 25 school-based health centers, three dental centers and a vision center serving the entire district. The district’s decade-long $1 billion Facilities Master Plan, resulting in new or fully renovated school buildings for all students, was completed on time and on budget. During the past five years, district enrollment has climbed by 8 percent, to 35,000 students, reversing decades of decline.
Most recently, a combined 7.93-mill levy to expand accessibility to quality preschool while providing support for key K-12 educational initiatives was approved on Nov. 8 by a 62 percent to 38 percent vote, the largest margin of approval in district history.
“It has been an honor to serve Cincinnati Public Schools throughout my 40-year career as an educator, and I am grateful to our voters and partners for supporting the students and families of our community,” said Ronan.
The Cincinnati Board of Education will launch an internal and national superintendent search for a successor to build upon the district’s momentum, Copeland-Dansby said. An RFP to hire a search firm will be posted on Friday, outlining requirements for services, including a comprehensive community engagement process. A new superintendent is expected to begin no later than Aug. 1, 2017.
“The selection of a superintendent is one of the most important responsibilities of any board of education,” Copeland-Dansby said. “Every member of the Cincinnati Board of Education is committed to finding a superintendent with the right expertise and skill sets to extend the progress of our schools and district, which will strengthen the vitality of our entire region."