A Statement from the Board of Education

December 14, 2017—With heartfelt thanks for his many contributions to Shaker Heights Schools, the Board of Education announces today that Superintendent Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr., Ed.D., will return to his hometown of Alexandria, Va., at the end of the 2017-18 academic year to lead Alexandria City Public Schools as Superintendent.

The Board is committed to ensuring the continued strength of the District during this transition period and will begin work immediately with recently elected board members to finalize the procedure to find the ideal candidate for superintendent. Later this morning, the combined outgoing and incoming board will share thoughts on the transition ahead.

“Dr. Hutchings has assembled a results-driven leadership team and developed significant internal capacity through professional development,” Board President Alex Liston Dykema said. “As an organization of talented teachers, administrators and building staff, the District is well-positioned for our future."  

“It has been a pleasure to work with Dr. Hutchings during his time here in Shaker and we are extremely grateful for all of his efforts, which leave Shaker Heights Schools in a stronger position going forward,” Mr. Liston Dykema added. “His leadership helped our District build from our tradition of excellence and moved us closer to our aspirations of excellence, equity and exploration for every student.” 

Dr. Hutchings became Superintendent of Shaker Heights Schools in July 2013. Under his visionary leadership, our Strategic Plan has furthered the District’s vision of becoming the first-choice district for families who come to Shaker Heights from around the world. 

In Dr. Hutchings’ time at Shaker Heights and through collaboration with administrators, teachers and community stakeholders, the District has:

- Obtained certification from the International Baccalaureate (IB) Organization for all buildings and programs in grades PreK-12, making Shaker Heights Schools one of only eight school districts in North America to offer IB programmes for all students at all grade levels.

- Opened the Innovative Center for Personalized Learning to expand opportunities for High School students and provide a blended learning approach to fulfill graduation requirements for High School students.

- Launched Shaker's First Class, the District’s two-year learning experience for three-year-old students and their families, to provide high quality early learning for all students and to narrow the pervasive achievement gap that exists for many of our children on their first day of kindergarten.

- Demonstrated fiscal responsibility by refining business processes and systems for sustainable cost savings, while also repurposing operating funds to academic initiatives that benefitted more students and reducing the District’s levy requests.

- Galvanized support for the successful passage of a $30 million bond levy and Shaker’s first Permanent Improvement Levy to address critical infrastructure needs.  

- Created the Summer, Explorational, Learning and Fun (SELF) program to focus on the arts, STEM, global languages, skill, career and personal development: offering an exciting summer alternative and a robust curriculum that includes a focus on the Literacy and Math Standards.

- Established a highly effective Professional Learning Department to support the professional growth of the District’s teachers and staff.

- Introduced Interest Based Bargaining to the District and reached collaborative agreements with all bargaining units.

Dr. Hutchings, a graduate of Alexandria City Public Schools T.C. Williams High School, fulfills a lifelong dream with his return to Alexandria. “Just as we strive to prepare our young people to be positive contributors to the world with the hopes that they will one day return to Shaker, I want to lead by example and return to Alexandria to advocate for and encourage my hometown’s next generation of global leaders,” he said.

Dr. Hutchings added, "Shaker has truly been a remarkable place to live, work and advocate for public education. Throughout the past five years, we've achieved much success in the Shaker Schools and I know that it would not be possible without our hard-working and dedicated team of students, faculty, staff, administrators, board members, parents and community. We will continue to work collaboratively with our school community to ensure that we remain focused on our strategic initiatives throughout this school year. I want to sincerely thank you for this extraordinary opportunity to serve our wonderful community as your Superintendent of Schools."

A Joint Statement from the 2017 and 2018 Boards of Education

As your combined outgoing and incoming Board of Education, we want to share with you our plans for moving forward, following the announcement this morning that our superintendent, Dr. Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr., has accepted the position of superintendent of Alexandria City Public Schools, effective July 1, 2018.

Our next steps for hiring a successor to Dr. Hutchings will be determined by our new Board of Education, which begins its term in January. The process will be guided by the Board's longstanding commitment to the District's Strategic Plan goals; our mission, vision and core values; and to our aspirations of excellence, equity and exploration for all students. Our leading priorities include transparency and input from our schools and broader community.

The combined Boards have already begun discussions for what's ahead. We all agree the Board and the District are well-positioned to manage and embrace this transition. We look forward to the opportunities that it presents for the entire school community.

Our next Board meeting is on Tuesday, January 9 at 6 p.m. in the High School Small Auditorium. We welcome your attendance at this and all meetings, and we encourage you to engage in this important process.
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