On Thursday, August 20, San Diego Unified’s school board president Shelia Jackson stood in front of a dozen reporters and read a statement concerning superintendent Terry Grier's likely departure to run a Texas school district.
"Today, Superintendent Grier was identified as the final candidate for the superintendent position in the Houston Independent School District," read Jackson.
During the past year and a half, since Grier was hired on, reports of a growing rift between school board members and the superintendent have circulated in the media and in the halls of San Diego Unified.
The rift was clear as Jackson read her statement, omitting several praiseworthy remarks from the printed press release handed out after the press conference.
"Dr. Grier has provided positive leadership to our school district during the last 18 months and we have made progress [with] our students during that time," read Jackson, leaving out the word "significant" before progress as was written in her statement.
Also omitted from the speech was the following sentence: "[Grier] has put an excellent leadership team in place who will continue to work hard to support our schools and boost student achievement."
Later, reporters asked Jackson to comment directly about the friction between Grier and school board members.
"I'm sure many of you have questions about the relationship... My first and foremost concern...is our unified school district and for the students and staff that work here," responded Jackson. "We have a commitment and our goal has been to make this the best school district across the nation.... We are not going to stop that commitment because one person leaves, whether that's a board member or a superintendent."
Jackson later refused to comment on allegations that school board members "muscled Grier out," as well as declining to comment on the high rate of turnover of superintendents -- if Grier decides to leave, San Diego Unified will be hiring its fourth superintendent this decade.
In a memo released by Grier, the superintendent stated: "Please know that I enjoy my position here in San Diego and am very proud of our recent academic accomplishments. I did not seek the position in Houston and was heavily recruited to speak with the Houston board."
After a required 21-day waiting period, Houston Independent School District is expected to offer Grier the position.