Wave of superintendent retirements leave Metro Detroit school districts with leadership void

‘There are way more retirements than a normal year,’ says Grosse Pointe Public School System superintendent Gary Niehaus

Wave of superintendent retirements leave Metro Detroit school districts with leadership void.
Wave of superintendent retirements leave Metro Detroit school districts with leadership void.

GROSSE POINTE, Mich. – As school districts across Metro Detroit work to normalize the learning experience for the 2021-22 school year, a concerning trend is developing.

The lasting impact of COVID will be felt almost immediately as experienced superintendents have deciding to retire after the stress of the pandemic.

Leadership said the job has long hours, an inability to plan or budget and has them building infrastructure from scratch only to have to rebuild it again at a moment’s notice. The stress of the job and the unhappy parents have been too much.

For many superintendents who are close to retirement age, the pandemic and all it wrought on the ability to educated has been the tipping point. Leadership roles in education are being left at an alarming rate.

The National Superintendent Roundtable is surveying superintendents to get a grasp on the actual numbers, but there are indications that as many as 4,000 superintendents nationwide preparing for a grand exit -- nearly a third of top administrators.

You can watch Paula Tutman’s full story in the video above.

More: Return to School


About the Author:

Paula Tutman is an Emmy award-winning journalist who came to Local 4 in 1992. She's a Peace Corps alum who spent her early childhood living in Sierra Leone, West Africa and Tanzania and East Africa.