WORCESTER, Mass. - The Worcester School Committee voted Thursday night against renewing Binienda's contract past this school year. 

Binienda's contract will expire on June 30, 2022.

Binienda has worked for the school district for more than 45 years and became superintendent in 2016.  She recently asked for a one-year extension on her contract.

In an interview with Spectrum News 1 prior to the school committee's vote, Binienda says she thinks politics may be playing a role. 

“I really am dedicated to the students and families and feel as though if I had that extra year I could hand the WPS over to the next person,” Binienda said. “And they would start at a good spot rather than still trying to deal with all the challenges of COVID and have someone else come in and not have some of those things fixed so that the new person can start on really solid grounds."

Mayor Joe Petty, who is also the chair of the school committee, said in a statement he wanted to ensure the district had enough time to develop the process if it became necessary to search for a new superintendent.

The school committee met in executive session to take the vote on Binienda's contract. At Thursday's school committee meeting, Mayor Petty said, "I think it's important we have a new set of eyes on the district, which is visionary. Which will take us to the next level."

School committee members Molly McCullough, Tracy O'Connell Novick and Diana Biancheria will lead an Ad Hoc committee in their search for a new superintendent.

A request for proposal will be released in the coming weeks for a consultant to help conduct a nationwide search. 

Petty says a new superintendent is likely to be appointed by February or March 2022.