PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Months after her contract was extended, Providence school Superintendent Dr. Susan Lusi has announced her resignation.
Lusi was named interim superintendent for the 2011-12 school year and given a three-year contract in May 2012 after serving as superintendent of Portsmouth schools. She previously worked in Providence as the school department’s chief of staff under former Superintendent Diana Lam. Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza extended her contract for a year in January.
Lusi will officially leave her post at the end of the school year.
“I understand personally the crucial difference that a good education can make in a child’s life, and I am committed to finding a dynamic leader for our school district who is worthy of continuing the progress made during Dr. Lusi’s tenure and who shares my vision for raising academic achievement in every school, engaging our community and reforming the role of central administration to create a school department that just works for students and families,” Mayor Jorge Elorza said in a statement.
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Lusi’s announcement came two days after the mayor released a budget proposal that level funded the school department for a sixth consecutive year. Lusi advised the school board that it should ask for more support from the city, but the board ultimately approved a proposal that slashed $34.7 million from the budget the district wanted. Board President Keith Oliveira voted against the proposal, arguing that it doesn’t “meets the needs of the school department.”
Lusi is widely credited with providing stability in a school district known for frequent superintendent turnover. Under her watch, the district has been nationally recognized for its work around early-childhood education. The district has also focused on reducing chronic absenteeism rates across the city.
“It has been an honor to serve as superintendent and I am proud of our accomplishments in Providence, but now is the time for me to pursue other professional opportunities,” Lusi said in a statement. “If I have any down time at all, I look forward to spending it with family – my children, my husband and also my parents.”