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Superintendent Christine Fowler Mack stepping down from Akron Public Schools

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Posted at 7:05 AM, Feb 14, 2023

AKRON, Ohio — The superintendent of Akron Public Schools is stepping down from her position. At Monday night’s Board of Education meeting, board members voted unanimously to approve a separation agreement with Christine Fowler Mack.

The district and Fowler Mack said the departure is a mutual decision.

“I don't think people should be concerned, this is not a day of mourning; it's actually a day of celebration,” said Board President Dr. Derrick Hall.

The board voted to hire Fowler Mack in April 2021, following the retirement of David James. A 1984 East High School graduate herself, Fowler Mack was the first female leader of the district. She will leave just 2 years into her 3-year contract.

READ MORE:Christine Fowler Mack hired as first woman superintendent of APS

She was not in attendance during Monday’s meeting, but provided the following statement about her departure:

“It is never easy to leave a place we love. My decision to leave Akron Public Schools was made easier by my knowing the outstanding work, increased supports, scholar focus and measurable progress I was privileged to lead since I was named superintendent in 2021. My decision to separate at a time of such pivotal change and opportunity for PAS was made with careful thought, prayer and discussions with my family.

In this moment of transition for APS, I will forever be grateful for the opportunity to serve Akron’s children, whose hopes for the future rest in our hands. With all my heart, I have faith that our amazing staff, families and community will remain determined, hopeful, engaged aand optimistic in the district I will always call my home.”

Fowler Mack’s tenure was not without turmoil. Board president Dr. Hall credited her with helping the district navigate COVID-19 health and safety protocols during her time on the job.

News 5’s partners at the Akron Beacon Journal reported some board members gave Fowler Mack a scathing review during her first-year evaluation, including claims she was “insubordinate” and labeling her first year a “failure.”

Monday, the board offered only well wishes for the outgoing superintendent.

"We're super excited about her next chapter. I think, again, there are other endeavors out there for her to pursue,” said Board President Hall.

Following the board’s vote to approve Fowler Mack’s separation agreement, members also voted unanimously to appoint an interim superintendent. Current Executive Director of Elementary Education Mary Outley was chosen to fill the role, starting Tuesday.

"I believe that we're going to move forward. I just want everybody to stay focused on our scholars. That's what we're here for," Outley told News 5 Monday.

Fowler Mack’s resignation is effective March 4. She will stay on board for several weeks to help the transition of leadership.

The board tells News 5 they hope to have a permanent replacement in place by the start of the next school year, adding they invite Outley to apply for the role.

“The board is committed to recruiting and supporting leadership that empowers students, teachers and parents,” Hall said.

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