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Reporting on the state of education in your community and across the country.

East Cleveland Picks New School District CEO

Henry Pettiegrew during a CEO candidates forum in East Cleveland on Jan. 31, 2019. [Matt Richmond / ideastream]
photo of Henry Pettiegrew, assistant superintendent of Maple Heights school district

The East Cleveland Academic Distress Commission has chosen a new CEO for the city’s troubled schools.

Henry Pettiegrew, a 41-year-old assistant superintendent in Maple Heights, received the commission’s support during a meeting Friday.

Once he begins work, Pettiegrew faces a community that’s skeptical of the state-mandated CEO position. But he said he believes he can overcome that hurdle.

“Although we have seen some disagreements and some issues, I believe we’ll be able to work through those together. I believe we’ll be able to see our common interests rather than our differences. And one of my roles will be chief communicator,” said Pettiegrew during an interview after the commission meeting.

East Cleveland is being placed under a CEO after receiving failing grades on three consecutive state report cards.

Pettiegrew declined to answer questions about his specific plans, saying he'd wait until after the position is officially his.

His current district, Maple Heights, faced a state takeover before receiving a 'D' on its most recent report card.

As CEO, Pettiegrew will have sweeping authority to make changes to East Cleveland's district operations, facilities and staffing.

The current superintendent, Myrna Loy Corley, was a candidate for the CEO position. She will stay on as superintendent.

Matthew Richmond is a reporter/producer focused on criminal justice issues at Ideastream Public Media.