The Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners announced that Sonja B. Santelises, Ed. D. has been named the CEO of Baltimore City Public Schools.
Dr. Gregory Thornton who will be relieved of his responsibilities this week. In the interim, Tammy Turner, General Counsel for the Baltimore City Public School System, has been named acting CEO through June 30. She has been the General Counsel since 2006.
Dr. Santelises will take over her roles as CEO on July 1, 2016.
"We believe Dr. Santelises is the person to lead Baltimore City Schools for the next 10 years," said Marnell Cooper, Chairman of the Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners in a statement. "The board recognizes that the work Dr. Santelises performed as Chief Academic Officer in Baltimore set us in a direction where the students were improving. We believe her most recent experience at The Education Trust in Washington has given her an even broader perspective and will result in greater academic achievement in Baltimore City."
Dr. Santelises, 48, was the vice president for K-12 Policy and Practice at the Education Trust, a Washington D.C. based non-profit. She was the Chief Academic Officer of Baltimore City Public Schools from 2010 to 2013.
Cooper praised Thornton's efforts to improve the school system.
"In a short time he made progress, cutting costs and helping the system save millions by insisting on an independent audit of our health insurance," Cooper said in a statement.
Cooper said that the board and Dr. Thornton discussed modifying his contract in December. The board then drafted a plan that would prepare the district for a change. The board interviewed eight candidates for the position and unanimously selected Dr. Santelises.