116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — In an emotional meeting Monday, the Cedar Rapids school board accepted Superintendent Noreen Bush’s resignation effective June 30, 2023.
Bush, 51, who went on medical leave last week, will remain superintendent this school year during her medical leave. She was diagnosed with cancer about two-and-a-half years ago.
“I absolutely love our district,” Bush said in a Zoom video call during the meeting. “I absolutely love serving as superintendent. And so it comes with a heavy heart to ask for the acceptance of my resignation …
“My greatest hope is I have an unbelievable miracle land in my lap, and, on June 30, I am able to exit as superintendent and still serve (the district), perhaps back in the classroom.”
Continuing her career in education as a teacher or principal would “fill my heart with joy,” Bush said.
Bush said she is resigning “with sadness” to focus on her health and her family. “It does fill my heart with joy knowing I will continue to serve in this role for the duration of the school year,” she said.
School board President David Tominsky said it would be his “greatest joy” to be able to be a student in any future classroom where Bush is teacher or school where she is principal.
“I can’t be alone in wanting to go back to a classroom led by you,” Tominsky said.
School board member Jennifer Borcherding said hiring Bush as superintendent was “one of the best things I’ve ever done professionally” and that Bush leads “with a servant’s heart.”
“I get feedback often from the community about what a tremendous leader you are,” Borcherding said.
“We all love you, and we pray for you, too,” said school board member Nancy Humbles, adding that Bush has done an “outstanding job” as superintendent.
"This is a hard meeting I know for you, and for us, too,“ school board member Jennifer Neumann said. ”We accept your resignation with heavy hearts.“
The school board will begin a national search for its next superintendent.
In an email to The Gazette on Monday, district communication director Colleen Scholer said Bush’s resignation letter will not be public record until Oct. 10, when it is presented to the board.
Randy Evans, executive director of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council, said it is “baffling” the district won’t provide the letter after Bush’s resignation was approved.
District officials have not responded to a question posed by The Gazette last week asking who will be responsible for day-to-day decisions while Bush is on medical leave.
Bush was named interim superintendent in 2019 after Superintendent Brad Buck resigned.
The Cedar Rapids school board unanimously approved a three-year contract with Bush in February 2020. She is the first woman to serve as superintendent in Cedar Rapids and is likely one of the highest-paid superintendents in the state with a salary of $270,746 this school year.
During her tenure, Bush has led the district through a natural disaster, the pandemic and two facility master plans.
Bush graduated from Cedar Rapids Jefferson High School. She attended the University of Northern Iowa and became an English, speech and theater teacher. She worked for the College Community School District before coming to Cedar Rapids.
Bush served as associate superintendent of the Cedar Rapids Community School District when Buck was superintendent before being offered the three-year contract as superintendent.
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