Lockport City School District superintendent Michelle Bradley is stepping down in September.
Bradley announced his impending retirement at a school board meeting Wednesday night.
Her last day of work will be September 9, she said, adding that she was leaving to pursue an “exceptional” job offer.
Bradley was employed by the Lockport District throughout her 34-year career in education. She began teaching third and fourth graders at Charlotte Cross Elementary School, where she had attended kindergarten, became principal of Charles Upson Elementary School, then held district-wide administrative positions. . She succeeded Terry Carbone as superintendent in 2011.
Bradley declined to say where she was headed next, but described the job offer as “something I look forward to using my skills and working with other educators around the state and around the world. ‘out of state’. She will remain a resident of Lockport, she added.
District administrators who worked with Bradley for some time praised her in response to her announcement.
“His dedication has always been to Lockport,” said outgoing trustee Karen Young, current chair of the board. “We wish him all the best.”
Outgoing administrator Ed Sandell said Bradley “has always been professional. Was she perfect? No. But his devotion to the students always showed.
My Brother’s Keeper advisory board member Teria Young said she also wishes Bradley the best, but welcomes the change in district administration. One of Young’s main criticisms of Bradley is the way she handled the My Brother’s Keeper grant last year and the lack of communication between the district and the black community.
“His administration was not very transparent. I look forward to working with an administration that will put our children first,” Young said.
Local activist Jim Shultz, a constant critic of the LCSD administration – in particular its $2.7 million investment in a surveillance system based on Aegis software, based on facial and object recognition, which ended up being shut down by the state – had called for Bradley’s resignation last month. after a state comptroller’s audit report determined that, contrary to Bradley’s claims, the security project software was not competitively bid. In response to Bradley’s announcement, Shultz said he sees an opportunity for healing in the district.
“The district has lost the trust of our community, and Superintendent Bradley’s mismanagement and dishonesty is a major reason for that,” he said. “The important thing now is that the district has an open and transparent process to choose a new leader who can do the best job possible for all of our children and families here in Lockport.”
Bradley acknowledged the variety of criticism she’s faced over the past two years and suggested the flak comes with a schools superintendent’s territory.
“When you accept the responsibility of being superintendent, you come in with your eyes wide open,” she said. “You understand that you have to focus on students and learning and be mindful of the community and taxpayers. You realize there will be times of criticism, but you need to know your core beliefs and help people understand that the focus is on the safety and success of our students.
Bradley said she wanted to be a teacher since she was in third grade and often played ‘school’ with her friends and siblings after school, with herself in the main role as the teacher. .
Despite being told she couldn’t find a job in education, Bradley chose not to attend school to major in chemical engineering and enrolled in SUNY Oswego, a junior high school. plan for aspiring educators.
Reflecting on her tenure, Bradley said she couldn’t have been a “super steward” without a “super family.” She thanked her husband, three daughters and parents who watched over the children while she attended lengthy board meetings.
The process of hiring a new superintendent will begin with a school board decision appointing a sourcing consultant. According to Young, the board could ask Clark Godshall, superintendent of Orléans/Niagara BOCES, to lead the research or appoint another consultant. Then the council will decide how wide the net to be cast for the contestants.
“It could be national, or it could be more local and maybe internal,” Young said.