Trotter announces retirement as Cleveland ISD superintendent, interim announced

Cleveland ISD Superintendent Chris Trotter (left) has announced his retirement. His last day as superintendent is Tuesday, Nov. 16. He is pictured receiving a certificate of appreciation from Cleveland ISD Board President Willie Carter at the Monday night meeting, Nov. 15.

After nearly three years of service to the Cleveland ISD community and 31 years in public education, Chris Trotter announced on Monday that he will retire as superintendent of Cleveland ISD.

Trotter’s last day with the district will be Tuesday, Nov. 16. He will remain an employee of the district until Jan. 4, 2022, as superintendent emeritus to assist with the transition of leadership. The Cleveland ISD Board of Trustees, in a 4-2 vote with one trustee abstaining, accepted the terms of his retirement agreement at a meeting on Monday, Nov. 15.

“I personally believe that three years is about the right amount of time to stay at the helm of an organization like ours. I am very proud of the work we have accomplished over the last three years. I believe new leadership and a new perspective will build on our legacy of success, and bring new ideas to the table,” Trotter said.

Stephen McCanless (fourth from right) is the interim superintendent for Cleveland ISD, effective at midnight Nov. 16. His selection as interim superintendent was made on Monday by the Cleveland ISD Board of Trustees. Pictured left to right, the Board members are Kelly Axton, Marvin Searles, Amanda Brooks, Willie Carter, Aaron Montesnieto, Robert Howell and Chris Wood.

Speaking on behalf of the board of trustees, Board President Willie Carter thanked Trotter for his service to the District.


“On behalf of the Board, we highly value the progress made in our school system under Superintendent Trotter’s leadership. Along with the Board, Mr. Trotter has focused Cleveland ISD and its stakeholders on identifying and developing the strengths and gifts of every child. In addition to his focus on instruction, he has been a champion to build the District’s capacity to handle the hyper-growth of students,” Carter said.

Trotter thanked the present and past boards for providing him with the opportunity to serve Cleveland ISD. Trotter also expressed his heartfelt appreciation to the staff and community for their support of the District’s programs and services during his term as superintendent.

District highlights under Trotter’s leadership:

  • Passed a $198 million bond referendum in 2019
  • Opened two campuses, broke ground on three additional schools, and a baseball and softball complex, and began plans for a new staff development/central office
  • Led the District through a global pandemic by providing meals for families and access to technology and curriculum


At Monday night’s meeting, and following a two-hour executive session, the Board returned to announce that Stephen McCanless will be the interim superintendent, effective at midnight on Nov. 16. McCanless, who has been with Cleveland ISD for eight years, most recently served the District as Executive Director of Operations.

McCanless previously served as Cleveland High School principal, coordinator of student affairs and director of administrative services. He began his teaching career in Deer Park ISD in 1996. In 2005, he was promoted to assistant principal for Channelview ISD and promoted to principal in 2007.

McCanless has 25 years in education with 16 of those in administrative roles.

Written by Bluebonnet News

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s