Dear HCSD Families and Community,
We are writing to inform you that HCSD Superintendent, Dr. Maria Lagana Suttmeier, has submitted formal notification of her intent to retire at the end of this calendar year. The Board accepted Dr. Suttmeier’s letter of resignation at its meeting on June 15, 2021. Dr. Suttmeier will continue to serve as the superintendent through January 1, 2022.
Dr. Suttmeier will leave HCSD after 23 years of service to the District. Prior to serving as the superintendent for the past 10 years, Dr. Suttmeier served as the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, Associate Principal of Montgomery C. Smith Middle School and coordinated Title V programs which included instruction in Character Education and after school programming.
From the start and throughout the duration of her tenure, Dr. Suttmeier worked tirelessly to support and improve educational and social-emotional initiatives at HCSD. Under Dr. Suttmeier’s leadership, the District has:
- Improved the academic performance of students and subsequently removed itself from New York State’s “Focus” status for schools in need of improvement
- Built a stable financial foundation to remove the District from New York State’s “Fiscally Stressed” status
- Raised the district graduation rate from 59% (2012) to 80% (2020)
- Raised the building graduation rate from 61% (2012) to 84% (2020)
- Raised the graduation rate for Students with Disabilities by 30% and Black/African American students by 44%
- Established student programs focused on successful transitions to college and careers
- Provided Chromebook laptops to all students in Grades 6-12, as well as shared devices for use in elementary classrooms (prior to the pandemic)
- Passed a capital improvement project with academic, athletic and operational priorities
- Expanded the Hudson Children’s Book Festival to become one of the largest children’s book festivals in the state
- Forged strong community partnerships that work in conjunction with the District to improve opportunities for students of all ages
Much has been accomplished through the work of Dr. Suttmeier and the dedicated HCSD administrators, faculty and staff. Together we have created a strategic vision for the District and will continue working toward achieving our goals and supporting our students.
In the coming months, district leaders will work to build a seamless leadership transition plan, which will include a search for candidates for the next superintendent of the Hudson City School District. The Board plans to begin the superintendent search process this summer. In the meantime, we still have a lot of work to do. Dr. Suttmeier remains dedicated to bringing another school year to a successful conclusion and planning for the safe opening of the 2021-22 school year.
Dr. Suttmeier will be greatly missed, but we wish her nothing but the best as she begins this new chapter in her life. She will be a tough act to follow and the Board hopes to find a new school leader with the same drive and determination to help the HCSD continue in its current direction. We will continue to keep the HCSD community up-to-date on the progress of our school’s leadership transition and look forward to continuing to work together to usher in the next era of Hudson education.
HCSD Board of Education