BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — The superintendent of central Brooklyn’s School District 16 is retiring, effective at the end of this week, the Department of Education announced Monday.
Evelyn Santiago, who supervised the elementary and middle schools of Bedford-Stuyvesant, will step down from her post and be replaced by deputy superintendent Rahesha Amon.
Amon takes over as the Interim Acting Community Superintendent on Jan. 4, according to DOE representatives.
“It has been a privilege to serve the students and families of District 16 as superintendent and I am proud of the work we have done together,” Santiago said in a statement, adding her congratulations to Amon.
“Ms. Amon has been an integral part of the District 16 leadership team and I am fully confident that she is ready to take on this role and will continue to make a difference for our students every day.”
Santiago, along with DOE officials, did not provide specifics about why she stepped down.
The move comes a month after parents openly voiced concerns with Santiago during public meetings on proposed school mergers and co-locations, saying that there were issues with transparency and communication between the superintendent and parents.
During a Nov. 17 gathering, Santiago addressed the unease, telling parents that all parties need to work collaboratively and that she assigned her staff to make sure all voices were heard moving forward.
The DOE will go through its selection process to hire a full-time replacement for Santiago, which includes an application, evaluation of candidates and consultation with parents and staff for feedback, officials said.
“Evelyn Santiago was a dedicated educator, committed to providing students a high-quality education as a teacher, principal and superintendent, and we are grateful for the passion and support she provided for our students,” Dorita Gibson, Senior Deputy Chancellor, said in a statement.
Officials from the district’s Community Education Council 16 said they are communicating with the DOE to discuss plans for Santiago’s successor, but as of Monday had yet to receive a formal announcement from the agency regarding her retirement.
“The Community Education Council thanks Ms. Santiago for her years of service to the children of District 16 and wishes her well in her retirement,” said CEC16 President NeQuan C. McLean.
“The DOE must appoint a superintendent who will be a strong advocate for the education of all children in District 16. Our District is in the midst of tremendous change and we need a leader who can champion a new era of educational excellence in our community.”
The CEC “looks forward to a transparent” process, McLean added.
Santiago’s retirement comes at a time when parents and elected officials have been rallying for a gifted and talented program for the district. Parents have banded together to seek ways to improve the state of education in the neighborhood.