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CPS students welcome new superintendent, Iranetta Wright

Cory Sharber
Newly appointed Superintendent Iranetta Wright (pictured left) is welcomed to the district by two John P. Parker students, Braylon Reynolds (center) and Sam Beya (right).

Students at John P. Parker School presented welcoming gifts to Iranetta Wright Friday as she prepares to step into her role as the next Cincinnati Public Schools superintendent.

Last Monday, the Cincinnati Public Schools Board of Education selected Wright to lead the district. She's expected to start May 1. As she prepares to enter her new role, she says she plans to lead with collaboration in mind.

Cory Sharber
Iranetta Wright addressed John. P Parker School students, the media, and members of the CPS Board of Education during an appearance in the district on Friday.

"I do not own Cincinnati Public Schools," Wright said. "Cincinnati Public Schools belongs to the people. It belongs to everyone, so we want to make sure that we're engaging all of our community, all of our stakeholders in the work that happens."

While leading the district, Wright plans to define what excellence looks like throughout Cincinnati Public Schools.

"Our children deserve excellence in everything they do," Wright said. "They deserve academic excellence. They deserve experiences that focus on the whole child. They deserve an opportunity to engage in high quality education."

Wright has been the deputy superintendent of schools for Detroit Public Schools Community District since 2017. The district has 53,000 students; 7,200 employees; and an operating budget of $785 million. Previously, she worked for over 25 years in Duval County Public Schools in Florida. She served as a teacher, assistant principal, middle and high school principal, regional superintendent, and the chief of schools for roughly 117,000 students and 13,000 employees.

Until Wright's tenure begins, Tianay Amat will continue to serve as CPS's interim superintendent, a post she's held since June 2021, after former superintendent Laura Mitchell resigned to become president and CEO of Beech Acres Parenting Center. Amat will transition back to a deputy superintendent role within the district.

Looking forward, Wright will be working with a school board with three new members, as well as a new president. The district will also be dealing with the ongoing impact of the pandemic. Wright will also have to work to find new transportation partners after Metro's contract with CPS runs out Jun. 30.

The Cincinnati Public Schools Board of Education has a new list of priorities it seeks to accomplish by June 13:

  • Ensure the new superintendent has a strong start in the district.
  • Support the passage of a strong budget for the upcoming fiscal year.
  • Support the adoption of a strong transportation plan for the upcoming school year.
  • Begin coaching series on effective board governance.