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RPS Superintendent says COO resignation will delay projects, cause breaking point

Richmond Public Schools Superintendent and one school board member say the resignation of the division’s chief operating officer is stretching the division to i
Published: May. 2, 2022 at 3:28 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Richmond Public Schools Superintendent and one school board member said the resignation of the division’s chief operating officer is stretching the division to its breaking point and will cause delays down the road.

In an email obtained by NBC12, Superintendent Jason Kamras told the school board the COO felt harassed, undermined and demeaned. Alana Gonzalez submitted her resignation effective May 20.

“Our climate. We need the support, the relationship piece in place in terms of addressing each other respectfully, holding people accountable for their jobs but also being respectful about it. So, yes, I am concerned,” said Cheryl Burke, Richmond School Board.

NBC12 has also learned those tensions are with some members of the Richmond School Board.

School board member Cheryl Burke points out the COO oversees finances, food services and building maintenance, among other jobs. She says Gonzalez’s departure means more work for those left behind.

“It would be miraculous, how about that, if we can continue at the level of expectations when there isn’t that person at the helm,” said Burke.

There is growing concern about the division and fallout from the resignation.

Burke is hopeful the divisive atmosphere on the school board won’t lead to more resignations. A sentiment the United States Senator Tim Kaine had as well while touring Armstrong High School.

“The only advice I have for everybody is the quality of your answer depends upon the quality of your listening. You can never make everybody happy,” said U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, (D) Virginia.

Superintendent Kamras declined to talk about the situation today.

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