READING., Pa. — The Reading School Board had its final public opportunity Wednesday to bid farewell to its superintendent of seven years, Khalid N. Mumin.
Last month, Mumin announced he would be stepping down from the position to accept the job of superintendent in the Lower Merion School District in neighboring Montgomery County.
Mumin, who is originally from Philadelphia, has led the Reading School District since 2014.
Board members offered heartfelt and tearful tributes to Mumin at the conclusion of his final board meeting as superintendent.
Board member Noahleen Betts thanked Mumin for coming to Reading seven years ago.
"You made a great impression in our community in these times, when it is difficult to find a role model of your caliber and stature," Betts said. "You really made an impact for the families I interacted with."
Board member Dave Myers also thanked Mumin.
"Thank for the stability you brought to the entire city of Reading and for your vision and leadership," Myers said.
Board member Leo Martinez offered a few sentences in Spanish.
"All that means is that you're a cool dude," Martinez said. "We will keep you in our hearts and prayers. May the Lord bless you."
"I am smiling from ear to ear under this mask," Mumin said. "I thank all of you for accepting me with open arms seven years ago. Thank you for providing me with the space and the support to do this work. With the board's blessing, we will be projecting onward and upward from a curriculum standpoint."
In a related matter, the board voted to appoint Assistant Superintendent Jennifer Murray as interim superintendent until a new superintendent begins.
Murray will be paid a stipend of an extra $5,000 per month.
The board also appointed Wanda Gonzalez-Crespo as interim assistant superintendent, with a stipend of $3,000 per month.
Gonzalez-Crespo is the district's English-as-a-second-language director.
Mumin said the appointments made him very happy in regards to the sustainability of the district.
"I am handing over the reins to a competent administration," Mumin said. "This is a great team who are evenly-yoked to do this work. I'm just a text message away for any needed support."
The board also approved a letter of engagement with the Berks County Intermediate Unit to conduct a superintendent search.
The BCIU provides free consultation and facilitation services for the search process to its member school districts.
Potential expenses include: advertising fees, photocopying, a Society for Human Resource Management leadership profile and refreshments.
Also Wednesday, the board accepted a resignation letter from board member Becky Ellis, who cited an inability to continue after she accepted a new job as fiscal director with SEIU 668.
The board will be responsible for finding a replacement to finish Ellis's term.