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Selfies with the CPS Superintendent a big hit on the first day

Iranetta Wright.jpg
Ann Thompson
This group of students jokingly gave CPS Superintendent Iranetta Wright a hard time for missing their band performance out front at the start of school.

CPS Superintendent Iranette Wright made Aiken High School in College Hill her first stop on the first day of school Thursday.

CPS Superintendent Iranetta Wright, who has just been on the job since May, was greeted by smiling faces at Aiken High School Thursday morning as students started the school year.

Wright popped into a handful of English and math classrooms at the College Hill school, chatted with teenagers and took selfies. She asked them about their summer and got razzed by a group of marching band members for missing their early morning performance.

“It’s amazing. It’s the culmination of a little over 100 days of being here in terms of my role being here in Cincinnati Public Schools,” says Wright. “But this is a lifetime of work. It’s surreal for me.”

She told reporters a teacher shortage at CPS has resolved itself. In May there were 164 vacancies. Wright says now there are just four core classes and 21 electives which are down a teacher.

As Wright toured Aiken, there were students, teachers and administrators wearing masks. They are optional this year. When asked about COVID-19 and monkeypox, the Superintendent explained to the media classrooms are sanitized daily and the district is making it a priority to teach kids about good hygiene.

New this year is a call to the community to “Be Present.” She says, “It is our responsibility as a school district and a community to make sure that our students are not just surviving but thriving. And one of the ways we do that is by asking everyone that is in the Cincinnati community to join us, help us wrap their arms around our children and do whatever you can do to ‘Be Present.’”

Wright encourages everyone to take the “Be Present” Pledge.

With more than 30 years of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market, Ann Thompson brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting. She has reported for WKRC, WCKY, WHIO-TV, Metro Networks and CBS/ABC Radio. Her work has been recognized by the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2019 and 2011 A-P named her “Best Reporter” for large market radio in Ohio. She has won awards from the Association of Women in Communications and the Alliance for Women in Media. Ann reports regularly on science and technology in Focus on Technology.