GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - Grand Rapids Public Schools Superintendent Bernard Taylor is taking himself out of the running for the top job in the Syracuse, N.Y. school district, a GRPS spokesman told 24 Hour News 8 on Monday.
"After much prayerful reflection and thanks to a lot of support and encouragement locally, I have decided to withdraw my candidacy for the Syracuse superintendent position," Taylor said in a written statement. "While it was a unique professional and personal opportunity, it is clear to me that my calling is -- and remains -- right here and right now."
The superintendent made similar statements about his decision to GRPS board President Senita Lenear, she told 24 Hour News 8 on Monday. And, Lenear said, he told her it was his decision to stay.
GRPS spokesman John Helmholdt said Taylor was contacted by many and asked to stay after his finalist status in Syracuse became public.
He was one of two candidates for the superintendent's job there. Taylor told 24 Hour News 8 last week he had been approached about the opportunity.
In his statement, the superintendent touted dramatic gains during his tenure in the number of schools meeting federal standards. But, he said, financial issues and the upcoming increase of minimum test score standards will bring the district back to "square one; back to where we were five years ago, possibly even worse -- depending on the outcome of the budget."
The superintendent was out of town for a funeral and did not attend a Monday special board meeting.
The Syracuse board president said he could not yet comment on Taylor's decision. The other candidate for the job there is Sharon Conteras, the chief academic officer for the Providence, R.I. district.
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