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Second city school cabinet member resigns

Jonathan Brice, a key player in the administration of former city schools CEO Andrés Alonso, will leave his post to take an appointed position at the U.S. Department of Education.

Brice, who served as the director of student support and safety before he was named to oversee the district's school support networks in 2011, will fill the post of deputy assistant secretary in the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education. His last day in the district is Oct. 4.

Tisha Edwards, interim CEO of the school system, announced Brice's departure during Tuesday's school board meeting, saying she was "grateful for Jonathan's contribution."

In an email to the district Wednesday, Edwards announced Brice's replacement, Sean Conley, who serves as executive director of principal support.

Edwards said that "while the departure of a cabinet-level officer is often bittersweet — because it represents both loss and new opportunity — this particular news highlights the major contributions of two of our district leaders."

Brice is the second cabinet member to resign from the school system after Alonso's departure in June.

Sonja Santelises, the system's chief academic officer, will leave the district Sept. 20. She will head to the Washington policy group The Education Trust.

At the DOE, Brice will be overseeing several departments, including teacher quality, school support and rural programs, and safe and healthy students.

In Baltimore, Brice has been credited with overhauling the student and school support structure in the school system since joining Alonso's cabinet in 2008.

He has also been credited with leading the reform efforts — namely the revision of the district's discipline policies to eliminate "zero-tolerance" approaches — that have drastically reduced the number of at-risk students being kept out of school.

"The opportunity I've been blessed with is really a culmination of the work of great staff, students, principals and teachers," Brice said. "While I received it, I understand that it's because of all the great people who work in city schools. I'm completely overwhelmed and honored to move to the department and do great things for kids all across the country."

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