PPS Superintendent Carole Smith to retire next year

The 2016-17 school year will be Smith's 10th with the district

Carole Smith plans to release additional details about the reconfiguration of K-8 schools. (Portland Tribune)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Portland Public Schools Superintendent Carole Smith announced her plans to retire following the end of the 2016-17 school year.

The news comes amidst concerns over elevated levels of lead recently detected in water fixtures across the district. Smith said resolving the lead problem “will continue to be a focus of our work over the coming year.”

A third-party service will provide PPS with clean drinking water during the 2016-17 school year, Smith announced in a press release on Tuesday.

Smith started working as the district’s superintendent in October 2007.

“The average tenure of an urban superintendent was and still is 2.5 years,” she wrote. “I knew that in order to make meaningful change, I set my goal at 10 years so that I could fully commit myself to the long-term needs of the district, students and staff.”

The 2016-17 school year will be Smith’s 10th with the district.

“The board has asked me to stay through the end of my contract in June, 2017 to allow them to move forward to conduct a superintendent search at the appropriate time and set the district up for a successful and smooth transition of leadership, as well as continue our work on health and safety.” – Carole Smith

During Tuesday night’s board meeting, which was met with angry parents, some said 2017 is too long to wait for new leadership.

“There’s too much to go back on, we need to indict her right now and do a full investigation,” said protest leader Teressa Raiford.

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