Savannah-Chatham superintendent retiring this summer

Published: Jan. 17, 2023 at 4:20 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 18, 2023 at 6:19 PM EST
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - As a product of the Savannah Chatham County Public Schools, Superintendent Dr. Ann Levett says she’s proud of the work her and her staff have been able to accomplish over the years.

She says retirement has been on her mind since before the pandemic but found it necessary to stay during that crucial time.

“I have found it to be one of my life’s honors to be the 24th superintendent of the district.”

As some Savannah Chatham School board members thanked and congratulated Dr. Ann Levett on her soon to come retirement, she says a lot has changed since being sworn in as superintendent in 2017.

She says since working at the district, graduation rate went from 65 percent to a now 85 percent rate.

Dr. Levett also takes pride in the district’s ability to accomplish ESPLOST projects, creating the Acorns Academy for 3-year-olds to begin early learning and navigating a global pandemic.

“I am especially proud of the system of support that we have built for our children and our staff,” Dr. Ann Levett said.

Parent of a Groves High graduate, with five other children still in the school district, LeeAnn Farthing says she can remember out to Dr. Levett with concerns.

“Almost overnight things were addressed.”

Farthing also served as the Parent Teacher Association president for the district and has some advice for the superintendent to come.

“Talk to the parents who are working the two and three jobs. Go talk to the parents who are really struggling. Talk to the students and ask him what their real experience are and do something about it,” Former PTA President Leeann Farthing said.

District 3 school board member Cornelia Hall voted for Dr. Levett in 2017 and is advocating for someone similar to take Levett’s seat.

“I want someone who believes in our children. Someone who doesn’t look at them as their poverty strict in and below level. I want someone to come in who has her love for children,” Cornelia Hall said.

While Dr. Levett says she’s leaving a solid foundation for the next person, the position may come with challenges.

“I do think transportation, staffing shortages, whenever someone steps in, they’ll continue to wrestle with.”

As for the process in finding the next superintendent, Levett says the board will decide what kind of search they want to do.

Whether that search will be national is unclear. She says in years past boards have hired a search firm to help find candidates.

The ultimate decision is up to the school board members.