If the charter school movement in the District has a godmother, it’s Josephine Baker. The former DCPS teacher was elected the first chairman of the D.C. Public Charter School Board by her fellow members after her appointment to the panel by then-mayor Marion Barry in 1996. Six years later, she became executive director, and has overseen growth of the city’s charter sector from 20 schools to 52 schools across 93 campuses. She also served as a founding member and a past chair of the National Association of Charter School Authorizers Board.

She announced today that she will retire at the end of the month.

“Jo Baker is an icon,” board chairman Brian W. Jones said in a statement. “Her departure will leave both a great void within the PCSB and an unparalleled legacy of service to the children and families of the District.”

Jeremy Williams, PCSB’s director of business oversight, will serve as interim executive while a search committee selects a permanent successor.