Nancy Grayson, founder of Rapoport Academy charter schools, will retire from her position as Rapoport superintendent next December.
Grayson, 61, founded Rapoport Academy Public School about 13 years ago with just 16 students.
Today, the school goes from kindergarten through high school and each school level is rated “exemplary” by the state.
“It’s my gift for the school,” Grayson said about her retirement. “It’s the best thing I can do for them.”
Grayson said some people think Rapoport schools work only because she is at their helm. Grayson wants to prove that Rapoport is a sustainable model for charter schools, whether she has her hand in the day-to-day business or not.
“The school is not about me and I need to show the community . . . it’s not about a person, it’s about a process and a team,” Grayson said.
Trey Schneider, president of the Rapoport Academy Public School board of directors, said Grayson will be missed.
“It’s amazing to see how far we’ve come, and she’s definitely left a permanent mark on the school,” Schneider said.
In Grayson’s absence, Rapoport schools will move from a superintendent-led model to a three-point team. Grayson has already been working closely with Matthew Polk and Alexis Neumann, two of that three-person team.
Schneider said the board has confidence in the future leadership team and knows they will bring the same passion to the role that Grayson has.
“It’s not driven by one person, as long as you have people who buy into the philosophy of what’s going on,” Grayson said. “It’s having that philosophy maintained that’s the important part.”
Schneider credits the commitment of Rapoport’s teachers, staff, students and parents with the school’s success.
Grayson has a laundry list of options for what she may decide to tackle next. She is known throughout the state for Rapoport’s success with students. She said she could easily see herself using her charter school know-how as a consultant.
But there is still work she wants to do in Waco, she said.
“I have a lot of energy for the East Waco community,” she said.
Rapoport has made a home in East Waco, renovating and revitalizing the abandoned Quinn College campus. She said she’d like to see East Waco prosper economically, as it has educationally with Rapoport.