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Columbus City Schools superintendent to step down at the end of the school year

Columbus City Schools superintendent Dr. Talisa Dixon has announced she will be stepping down at the end of the academic year in 2023. In a letter to staff and families on the district's website, Dixon said it was a difficult decision.

The former principal and assistant principal at Brookhaven High School and Columbus Alternative High School spent five years leading the Cleveland Height-University Heights City School district before retuning to Columbus in March 2019.

It has not been a smooth ride: A year later when COVID closed schools around the country, Dixon faced creating comprehensive learning environments for the state's largest school district. This year when contract talks broke down with the Columbus Education Association, teachers and support staff took to the picket lines for three days - the first school strike in Columbus in over 45 years. And the district is currently engaged in an unprecedented mid-year overhaul of transportation, after new transportation routing software and a bus driver shortage left many students stranded on the side of the road.

But during her tenure, Dixon has also tackled key issues facing public education. She called for an outside curriculum audit. She worked with the school board to develop comprehensive expectations for students. And she strengthened important public partnerships with Nationwide Children's Hospital, Ohio State University, the City of Columbus and others. Dixon also presided over the creation of the "Columbus Promise" a partnership that guarantees free tuition for CCS seniors at Columbus State Community college.

It's not immediately clear who will succeed Dixon as interim superintendent; Deputy superintendent David James is leaving December 31st for a position in Akron. Dixon is a few months into her second three-year contract with the district, with a base salary of $262,000.

A native of Chicago, naturalized citizen of Cincinnati and resident of Columbus, Alison attended Earlham College and the Ohio State University. She has equal passion for Midwest history, hockey and Slavic poetry.