School superintendant Roosevelt resigns

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After five years as superintendent of the Pittsburgh Public School District, Mark Roosevelt has announced he will be resigning.

“I stand before you all a very grateful person. I am confident leaving,” Roosevelt said. “I think I’m someone who sees possibilities and makes a turn around come to life and that’s why I think my work is done in Pittsburgh.”

At a press conference on Oct. 6 Roosevelt said he is the finalist for a position as president of Antioch College in Ohio. Whether or not he is offered the position, he said he intends to leave his current position on Dec. 31 of this year.

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MARK ROOSEVELT

Of his many accomplishments during his tenure, Roosevelt listed the implementation of the Pittsburgh Promise, creation of the Empowering Effective Teachers Plan, and negotiating a five-year contract with the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers. However, he said his greatest accomplishment has been helping to shift the culture of the school board away from an environment that has historically been very combative.

“The culture has changed. The fundamental change in the district is that the school board and we adults have decided to leave that behind,” Roosevelt said. “I think the most unwritten story in Pittsburgh is the progress this board has made.”

As a result of the culture change, Roosevelt said he is very confident the initiatives he helped create will not lose momentum. He attributed a great deal of this confidence to the team of administrators he is leaving behind.

“The board should know and be confident of the leadership we have and their ability to move the district forward,” Roosevelt said. “There are amazing pieces in place. It’s really a question of deepening work. I really believe the pieces are so solidly in place, we don’t need any new ideas.”

At the time of the press conference, school board President Theresa Colaizzi said she was unable to discuss how the board would proceed or what criteria they would be considering in future candidates for superintendant.

“In my opinion, we’ve accomplished 20 years of work in the last five,” Colaizzi said. “I look forward to continuing that work.”

Antioch is a liberal arts college that was closed in 2008 due to declining enrollment and a declining economy. It is planned to be reopened in Fall 2011.

“We are all excited to have traveled this far and to see the talented and experienced people who have come before us,” said Lee Morgan, chair of the Antioch College Board of Trustees. “We have great hopes for the successful conclusion of our search for our next president. Our work will continue until we have accomplished this aim.”

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