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Gutiérrez backs out as MMSD Superintendent

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Matthew Gutiérrez has informed the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) Board of Education that he will stay in Seguin, Texas, and not accept the job of Superintendent of Schools in Madison, the district announced in a press release Monday night.

Gutiérrez cited the coronavirus pandemic in his decision, saying  that he could not leave his district during this incredibly challenging time as he felt an overwhelming need to stay and support the students and staff in his current district, according to the release.

“This was both surprising and disappointing,”  MMSD School Board President Gloria Reyes said in a statement. “As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, educators across the country have been forced to make incredibly difficult decisions, and the MMSD family understands and fully appreciates Dr. Gutierrez’s decision to continue to support his community, the only home he’s ever known, during these incredibly challenging times. Ultimately, the situation changed in a way that nobody could have predicted, making the timing for Dr. Guteirrez’s departure from his current role no longer an option for him personally.”

Gutiérrez was set to take over the helm of Madison schools on June 1. He was chosen from three finalists, each of whom visited the district for a day in December. In a recent visit to Madison to get acquainted with the community, Gutiérrez repeatedly committed to focus on the disparities between white and black students and uphold the values of Black excellence.

His selection drew the ire of some leaders of Madison’s Black community, who questioned his experience and the process that led to his hiring.

The release says the MMSD Board of Education will be scheduling an upcoming closed session meeting to decide next steps and to carefully evaluate all options and that no additional information is available at this time.