MARYSVILLE – After recovering since January from surgery to remove a brain tumor, Marysville schools Superintendent Becky Berg has decided to step down from her post.
School board president Tom Albright said at Monday night’s meeting that the district has been working for a few weeks on a separation agreement. Berg’s contract was supposed to last through 2020.
He said the process has been awkward and emotional.
“I don’t know how to capture the emotion of what we all went through,” he said.
School board member Mariana Maksimas added, “I’m going to miss Dr. Berg.”
“The whole thing is really unfortunate,” school board member Pete Lundberg said. “Life is not fair.”
The separation agreement will be made public when it is finished, they said.
Berg has been superintendent for five years here, and has been in education as a career for 32 years.
Berg’s decision comes after surgery that removed a non-cancerous, meningioma tumor from her brain in January.
“The episode caused me to take stock of my life and my work with a renewed perspective,” Berg said in a written statement.
Under Berg, the district has been increasing the rigor of coursework, emphasizing the need to teach every child to read by the end of first grade, lowering class sizes, increasing daily attendance, and improving the graduation rate to its highest ever.
“Together we learned some worthy lessons,” Berg continued. “Like the vital importance of tending to the mental health needs of our students. We know that although academics is important, we must, as a district and a community, meet the needs of the whole child for each one to be successful. Every child deserves to be safe, healthy, engaged, supported and challenged.”
Under her leadership, the district also began providing the SAT, a test required for most college applications, to all of 11th graders for free, instead of them paying for it; grew the AVID program, which will expand to students in 5th through 12 grade next year; and bolstered opportunities in Career and Technical Education to provide more resources for technology and trade pathways.
“Dr. Berg’s impact on our schools and community over the past five years has been immeasurable,” Albright said. “From addressing inequities and injustices that create barriers to student success, to attending to the district’s finances by creating a rainy- day fund and developing a sound annual budget that is in alignment with board-adopted priorities, Dr. Berg’s positive work will be felt for many years to come.”
Albright said an interim superintendent will be appointed for the rest of the year, and a selection process for the next superintendent will begin soon.
Human Resources director Jason Thompson has been acting superintendent the past few months.