New Flint Community Schools superintendent: Many challenges — and opportunities — ahead for district

Anita Steward, lifelong Flint resident and proud product of the Flint Community School system, has been named as the new superintendent of Flint Community Schools.

After a unanimous vote by the Flint Community Schools Board of Education on June 25 to approve Steward’s appointment, the former assistant superintendent quickly accepted the offer.

“I am honored to serve the students and families of the city I am proud to call home in this new role,” Steward said in a statement. “While there are many challenges that lie ahead, there are tremendous opportunities as well. I am eager to build on the legacy of excellence and the long, dynamic history of Flint Community Schools.”

Steward became interim superintendent in January when former superintendent Derrick Lopez was initially suspended. This now makes Steward number seven in a superintendent line of succession over the past 15 years. The board has high hopes that cycle stops with Steward.

“As a product of Flint Community Schools, Mrs. Steward knows what it means to be Flint Strong, and she is deeply committed to serving our families now and into the future,” said Board President Casey Lester in a statement. “As Interim Superintendent, she had led our district with acumen through a time (COVID-19 pandemic) that has shaken our students and families to their core — and she has done so without hesitation. I am confident Mrs. Steward will continue to put the academic, social and emotional well-being of our students first as we chart a path forward at Flint Community Schools.”

During her brief time as interim superintendent, Steward worked with district leaders and community partners to implement the district’s distance learning plan amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Steward also led the work of the District Reopening Committee to plan for the fall semester while working with the Board of Education to ratify all three FCS union contracts for the first time in 15 years.

Before her roles in administration in the district, Steward was principal of Freeman Elementary school, where she increased state assessment M-STEP scores by 67%. She holds master’s degrees from Marygrove College and Eastern Michigan University in teaching and K-12, respectively.

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Read more articles by Ashley Schafer.

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