Wellesley superintendent of schools Bella Wong has resigned, effective at the end of this school year, the head of the School Committee said today.
“Bella Wong has served the Wellesley school community for 11 years and demonstrated her tireless dedication to the Wellesley educational system,” School Committee chairwoman Suzy Littlefield said in a statement. “The School Committee understands Bella’s reasoning for resigning at this time, and appreciates that she has given the town plenty of time to begin the search for a new superintendent next year.”
Wong could not immediately be reached for comment, but said in a letter dated Nov. 9 to Wellesley school staff that “ongoing public concern over School operational protocols has placed the School Department in a defensive posture and has undermined my capacity to advocate effectively for the benefit of the school district.”
For the full text of Wong's letter to school staff, go here.
Wong’s resignation comes at the end of a rough year for the school department. Last spring, it was discovered that the business office had failed to collect about $169,000 worth of school lunch debt. An audit triggered by the failure showed sloppy bookkeeping by the business department, headed by business manager Ruth Quinn Berdell.
Littlefield said she understood why Wong resigned, and that she is acting "in the best interests of the district."
“I’m looking forward to moving in a positive direction,” said Littlefield. “I’m looking forward to changing the conversation and refocusing on education and the kids. That’s why I ran for School Committee.”
Littlefield said the School Committee will meet this coming Tuesday to begin the search for a new superintendent. It will be “a very public process,” she said.
Evan Allen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.