Germantown High School Principal Margaret Mullen-Bavwidinsi is retiring from the School District of Philadelphia.
District spokesperson Fernando Gallard said Thursday that Mullen-Bavwidinsi will step down at the end of the day.
Vice Principal Alexis Greaves will serve as acting principal through the end of the academic year when the school closes its doors permanently.
In a letter sent out to members of the GHS community, and in a text message to a close supporter, Mullen-Bavwidinsi said that she was leaving Germantown on Thursday due to poor health.
“She’s been a tremendous blessing for the school. She’s the main reason that the school turned around, but her health is important,” said Vera Primus, president of the school’s alumni association and perhaps Mullen-Bavwidinsi’s most vocal advocate.
State Rep. Stephen Kinsey, who also graduated from Germantown, was equally saddened by the news.
“It’s unfortunate to lose a principal who was really committed to helping the students at Germantown,” he said. “There’s been marked improvement under her leadership.”
11 weeks until GHS closes
Mullen-Bavwidinsi, who headed the school for four years, did not respond to several calls seeking comment about her decision and legacy at GHS.
Germantown High, a near-century old institution, is slated to close at the end of this academic year as part of the district’s Facilities Master Plan, an effort aimed, in part, at addressing an ongoing budget crisis.
District officials announced last week that the district is facing a $242 million budget hole next school year.
In early March, the city’s School Reform Commission voted to close at total of 23 city schools and merge or relocate five others.