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Students serenade CEO Gordon at Rock Your World with STEAM

The customary tradition at Rock Your World with STEAM Festival is for a performance on the main stage at high noon.  

The Cleveland School of the Arts Choir and Orchestra did perform but they surprised Cleveland Metropolitan School District CEO Eric Gordon by singing in his honor. They performed “To Sir, With Love.“ 

Mr. Gordon was clearly moved by the rendition. He remained on the stage, holding back tears, as they performed. 

Students serenade CEO Gordon at Rock Your World with STEAM (Video)

At the end of the performance, Kimberly Brown, All-City Arts director, asked the crowd to continue with their applause. 

“We are so honored to have had the pleasure of educating and learning under the leadership of Mr. Gordon,” said Ms. Brown. 

The All-City Arts dancers also performed for Mr. Gordon. During the 24th Rock Your World with STEAM Festival, students from more than 80 CMSD schools showcased their talents in science, technology, engineering, arts and music. Approximately 4,000 people attended this year's festival. 

Mr. Gordon admitted to CMSD News Bureau’s Darrielle Snipes during a live interview on Facebook and YouTube, that he was sobbing. 

“It was so touching,” he said. “The kids are just wonderful. It was pretty overwhelming.” 

Mr. Gordon announced late last year that he would not seek a renewal of his contract and would step down as CEO at the end of the current academic year. 

Since the announcement, various groups and organizations have surprised Mr. Gordon with tributes and gifts. 

WKYC dedicated one of its Mentor Monday segments to Mr. Gordon by surprising him  with previous and current mentees who talked about his dedication to mentorship. 

Daniel Hahn, Vice President of Education at Playhouse Square, gave Mr. Gordon an honorary Dazzle Award, the highest honor a Northeast Ohio high school actor can receive, for his well-documented support of the arts. 

 Mr. Gordon will receive the Downtown Cleveland Alliance’s Lifetime Achievement Award for his significant investment in the Greater Cleveland Community. He will be honored at their 2023 Ruth Ratner Miller Awards on June 7.

The Cleveland Board of Education and Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb announced on May 9th, that Dr. Warren Morgan, the current Chief Academic Officer of Indianapolis Public Schools, will succeed Mr. Gordon in July.