Washington, D.C., Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson says she will step down from her post in the fall after leading the school system for nearly six years.
"I am ready to take on new challenges, and I have complete confidence that the team we have built...is prepared to drive our work forward under new leadership," Henderson says in a letter to the community.
Henderson became chancellor of the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) in November 2010 when she replaced Michelle Rhee. From 2007 to 2010, Henderson served as deputy chancellor for the school system.
Mayor Muriel Bowser credited Henderson with improving the school system during her tenure.
"Without a doubt, DCPS is a very different place today than it was when Kaya joined our school system in 2007," Bowser says. "DCPS is the fastest improving urban school district in the country. After decades of decline, DCPS has also seen consistent, annual enrollment growth since Kaya became Chancellor—growing from 45,000 students in 2010 to nearly 49,000 students this year. While we will miss Kaya, we can all be proud of her team and her tenure as the second longest-serving leader of DCPS."
The Washington Post reports that during Henderson’s tenure, test scores have improved, and schools have beefed up academic and extracurricular offerings.
Bowser has selected John Davis, the system’s chief of schools, to serve as interim chancellor beginning Oct. 1.
"John has over two decades of experience in education as a teacher, principal, and district leader," Henderson says. "He also is a DCPS parent, and has a strong commitment to serving all our students. I expect many of our team members, including principals and central office staff, to continue their work under John’s leadership."