The superintendent of Columbus City Schools formally announced her retirement Thursday, Sept. 20, amid a scandal involving student-attendance records.

The superintendent of Columbus City Schools formally announced her retirement Thursday, Sept. 20, amid a scandal involving student-attendance records.

During a press conference Sept. 20 at the King Arts Complex, Gene Harris announced she would leave the district she has served for 35 years, the past 12 as superintendent.

"The time is right for me to say goodbye," said Harris, whose retirement is effective July 1, 2013.

Harris, 59, bid farewell at the King Arts Complex, formerly Garfield Elementary School, which she attended as a youngster. It also is the facility where the school board made its announcement on hiring Harris as the leader of the now 50,000-student district.

Her announcement came as the Ohio Auditor's Office investigates Columbus City Schools - one of the three districts in the state - for attendance-reporting irregularities. At issue is whether the attendance records have been manipulated to improve scores the state report card.