Houston Independent School District
Interim Houston Supt. Grenita Lathqn

Houston board ousts its interim superintendent

Oct. 12, 2018
Divided board votes to bring back former superintendent Abelardo Saavedra to replace Grenita Lathan.

The Houston school board has ousted its interim superintendent and replaced her with an administrator who led the district a decade ago.

KTRK-TV reports that the board decided to remove interim superintendent Grenita Lathan from the job and bring back former superintendent Abelardo Saavedra as the district's interim leader.

The board voted 5-4 to bring back Saavedra, who served as superintendent from 2004 to 2009. 

Lathan will return to her previous role as chief academic officer.

She was appointed as interim superintendent on March 22, 2018, after the departure of superintendent Richard Carranza, who left to become New York City's chancellor of schools.

The board's action came at a raucous meeting filled with shouting and accusations lobbed by trustees against one another, The Houston Chronicle reports.

The unexpected move came as board members were about to decide whether to extend Lathan’s contract through Sept. 30, 2019.

Board member Diana Davila proposed a motion to dismiss Lathan as the district’s temporary leader and insert Saavedra.

That motion drew criticism from board member Wanda Adams, who said there was a racial divide on the board between African-American and Latino trustees. She said the proposal should have been discussed in closed session rather than sprung on the dais.

“This is disrespectful,” Adams said.

Saavedra resigned last week as superintendent of South San Antonio Independent School District, where he was the top administrator since 2014

From 1993 to 2000, he served as superintendent of Corpus Christi schools before taking a job in the Houston district.

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