HOUSTON (AP) — Terry Grier announced Thursday that he will resign as superintendent of the Houston Independent School District, effective March 1, after six years at the helm of the state's biggest school district.
Grier cited age and recent knee-replacement surgery as factors in his decision. The 65-year-old administrator also has an 86-year-old father needing attention because of dementia.
"You can't be school superintendent in Houston forever," Grier said at a news conference. "I know that I don't look my age, and I still have a lot of energy and a lot of passion. But quite frankly it's just time, and that's it in a nutshell."
Under his administration, the district launched a program that dedicated millions of additional dollars to low-performing schools, boosting math scores on standardized assessment tests during the three years of the project but not boosting reading scores much. He also promoted voter approval of a $1.9 billion bond issue, the biggest in the history of Texas schools.
The district's board of trustees hired Grier in September 2009 to succeed Abelardo Saavedra, who retired after five years on the job. Then 59, Grier came to Houston from the superintendent's position of the San Diego Unified School District, California's second-biggest school district and the nation's eighth-biggest.
Grier receives $300,000 a year under a contract that was to expire next June 30.
The Houston school district is the nation's seventh largest, with about 215,000 students enrolled.
The story has been corrected to show Grier is 65, not 75.