D.C. Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson (left) was appointed by Mayor Vincent Gray (right) in March. The D.C. Council confirmed her appointment Tuesday.
Gray says he didn't want the selection panel he put together to look at resumes from around the country when he knew he wanted Henderson for the top spot.
"She's been in the city for a number of years working around education, and I think to ensure continuity at this stage is extremely important," he says.
Henderson says she'll continue what she calls an "urgent and relentless" push for high quality teachers. But she says she'll also focus on involving the community.
"One of the things we really have not done well over the last 3.5 years is around community engagement and transparency. And so we will work to ensure that everyone understands that they are part of this reform. These are not my schools, these are our schools," she says.
Henderson is being paid $275,000 a year, the same as her predecessor, Michelle Rhee. She still needs to be confirmed by the city council.