Superintendent Freeman Will Step Down After This Year

After 25 years as superintendent of Shaker Heights Schools, Superintendent Mark Freeman announced today that he will step down after this school year.

“It has been an honor to serve Shaker,” Freeman stated in a letter sent to faculty and staff via email. “I have been fortunate to work with supportive school boards and an active, positive, and engaged community. I have had the privilege of serving with a highly talented and committed staff. Above all, I have had the incredible pleasure of watching our students grow and thrive.”

“We credit Dr. Freeman with advancing Shaker to a global stage,” Board of Education President Annette Tucker Sutherland stated in a press release. According to Sutherland, Freeman brought Shaker to a global stage, by “introducing the International Baccalaureate program for all students, pre-K through high school; launching our innovative Asian Studies and Mandarin language programs; and encouraging numerous exchange programs with sister schools all over the world.”

Sutherland added, “Dr. Freeman has also successfully guided the District through fiscal challenges including regional economic woes and reduced state funding. Dr. Freeman has worked to address the issue of minority group under-achievement through innovations within our schools as well as working with similar districts by co-founding the regional First Ring Superintendents’ Collaborative and the national Minority Student Achievement Network.”

According to a press release from the district, the Board of Education will begin to develop a strategy designed to find a new superintendent, including “consideration of both internal and external candidates, and a national search.”

In his letter, Freeman added that he will do “everything possible to ensure a smooth transition.”

“Superintendents act less in words, and more in actions,” said junior Pieter Block. “I’ve never heard him speak, but seeing the success of the district, it’s obvious that he has done a great job.”

Freeman holds bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from Kent State University, and first became a teacher for the district in 1967. After holding a handful of administrative positions, Freeman was appointed as superintendent in 1988.

“It has been an honor to serve Shaker, and it has been rewarding to see our school system grow and evolve,” wrote Freeman. “I look forward to working with you, our students, and our community to make Shaker’s 100th academic year our best yet.”

Cover Story Editor Kathleen Kalafatis contributed to this story.

Read the entire press release here:

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