Roanoke school superintendent Bishop discusses "difficult" decision to retire

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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) Roanoke City School Superintendent Rita Bishop says it will be difficult to step aside at the end of the school year.

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But she says the time has come for the school board to find a new leader, who can take the city schools to the next level.

"It wasn't an easy decison," she told WDBJ7 Monday morning, "you know there's a lot to be done."

Bishop said she's been thinking about her exit for a while, and no, she said, breaking her leg several weeks ago wasn't a factor in her decision to step aside at the end of the school year.

What was a factor, Bishop said, was how the demands of the job affected the amount of time she is able to spend with her grandchildren.

"I have packed a suitcase at least ten times over the past two years," Bishop said, "only to have something happen where I didn't think it was in the best interests of the district for me to go."

Bishop said she's proud of the progress the school system has made, in areas such as the graduation rate, school accreditation, summer programs.

And though many challenges remain, Bishop said she can step aside knowing that a great team of teachers will carry the school system forward.

It's very difficult," Bishop said, "but I think that we're in a place where upward movement is possible."

"It's time to let the board find somebody who can take it to the next level."

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