Los Angeles Unified School District
megan reilly interim

Inside: Administration

July 1, 2021
Los Angeles, Chicago districts appoint interim leaders

L.A., Chicago appoint interim leaders

The nation’s second- and third-largest districts have interim leaders in charge as the 2021-22 school year begins.

Megan K. Reilly, deputy superintendent in the Los Angeles Unified District, has been tapped to serve as interim superintendent of the system, the nation’s second-largest public school district. She is replacing Austin Beutner, who announced his retirement earlier this year after three years in the top job.

In Chicago Public Schools, the nation’s third-largest district, Jose M. Torres has been appointed interim Chief Executive Officer of Chicago Public Schools. He replaces Janice Jackson, who resigned as Chicago Schools CEO in May after serving more than three years in the job.

The two administrators will lead their districts while their school boards carry out a search for more permanent replacements.

Reilly has served as the Los Angeles district’s deputy superintendent of business services and operations since June 2019. In that capacity, she oversees human resources, finance, facilities, transportation, information technology, school safety and other areas. During the pandemic, she has been integral to the success of meal distribution centers, the distribution of devices and hot spots to students and educators, and meeting the complex demands of the reopening of schools.

From 2007 to 2017 was the district’s Chief Financial Officer. Immediately before rejoining the Los Angeles Unified, she was the chief business officer for the Santa Clara County Office of Education. She also previously served as Executive Director of Business at the Naval Postgraduate School. 

Torres has been superintendent of the U-46 district in Elgin, Ill., and was a regional superintendent in the Chicago system. Most recently, he was president of the Illinois Math and Science Academy in Aurora.

In addition to Jackson’s departure, two other high-ranking administrators have left the Chicago school system this spring. Chief Education Officer LaTanya McDade has departed to become superintendent of the 90,000-student Prince William County (Va.) district. Arnie Rivera left his job as the district’s chief operating officer to become chief administrative and equity officer for Chicago’s Navy Pier.

New superintendent in Houston

The Houston school board has voted unanimously to name Millard House II as permanent superintendent of the district, the nation’s seventh largest.

House comes to the 196,000-student school system from the Clarksville-Montgomery (Tenn.) County School System, where he was superintendent.

He is a 26-year educator who started as a teacher in Tulsa, Okla.  He has been a principal and deputy superintendent in Tulsa, and also served as chief operating officer in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg County (N.C.) district.

“I am honored and humbled to have this opportunity,” House said. “I do not take this responsibility lightly. This work will be difficult. There will be tough decisions, but it will be worth it for our children.”

Houston has been without a permanent superintendent since 2018, when Richard Carranza left to become chancellor of New York City school system, the nation's largest. Lathan has served as interim superintendent for three years. She announced earlier this year that she was leaving Houston to become superintendent of the Springfield (Mo.) district.

Broward County (Fla.) superintendent, facing indictment, agrees to step down

Robert Runcie, superintendent of the Broward County (Fla.) school district, will resign from his job and receive a $740,000 severance.

The Associated Press reports that the Broward board approved the separation agreement in a 5-4 vote. Runcie will depart no later than Aug. 10.

Runcie, who has led the district since 2011, was indicted earlier this year on a perjury charge by a grand jury investigating the 2018 massacre at Broward’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. He has pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors contend Runcie lied to the grand jury when answering questions regarding a criminal case against the Broward district’s former technology chief, Tony Hunter. 

In addition to providing severance, the board has agreed to pay for Runcie’s criminal defense, which the district estimates will cost between $100,000 and $350,000. 

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy has been writing about education for American School & University since 1999. He also has reported on schools and other topics for The Chicago Tribune, The Kansas City Star, The Kansas City Times and City News Bureau of Chicago. He is a graduate of Michigan State University.

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