CLEVELAND (WJW) — A schools chief from Indianapolis has been chosen to lead the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.
On Tuesday morning, the CMSD school board named Warren G. Morgan as the district’s next CEO. Morgan is currently the chief academic officer for Indianapolis Public Schools.
Morgan grew up in Chicago, getting his education in schools very much like Cleveland’s. He has family here and worked for CMSD in the early years of the “Cleveland Plan” which boosted academic performance and graduation rates in the city.
“I’m back home and I cannot wait to do this work with you to ensure our scholars and CMSD always win, win, win,” Morgan said Tuesday.
Outgoing schools CEO Eric Gordon previously hired Morgan to the district in 2014, which he said should be taken as a signal of his “personal confidence” in him.
Morgan said it was first central office job and that he viewed Gordon as a mentor.
Gordon said this school year was the right time to pass the baton, since the district last year had some of the highest growth scores among Ohio schools and its growth and gap closing measures were top-rated among Ohio’s eight urban school districts.
“We have taken what was at one point the lowest performing district and got it moving, and Dr. Morgan will be able to accelerate that,” he said.
During Morgan’s time in Indianapolis public schools, the district was No. 1 in Indiana for growth in English, math and state assessments, said Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb.
“He’s proven he can truly move the needle in terms of academic achievement for all our students across the district,” he said.
The Cleveland Teachers Union congratulated Morgan in a statement Tuesday:
“We look forward to continuing our collaboration with Dr. Morgan as we all strive to do what is best for Cleveland’s children and their families. This was a lengthy process and we appreciate the time and effort that both candidates gave in the multiple stakeholder interviews.”
The search to replace Gordon came down to two candidates, both of whom have ties to Cleveland and previously worked in the district.
The other candidate, Dr. Rocky Torres, grew up here. His parents both graduated from CMSD schools. Dr. Torres was an administrator in the district for five years prior to becoming an assistant superintendent in the Seattle Public Schools.
The search to find the right fit for the future included interviews by teachers, students, parents, and staff through a series of community panels. More than 5,000 people offered their input, Bibb said.