Yesterday evening, it was announced that Dwight Jones will step in as DPS interim superintendent. The decision was announced after the DPS Board of Education work session and an executive session.
Dwight is currently DPS’ Senior Deputy Superintendent for Equity, and previously was the Superintendent in Clark County (Las Vegas), the nation’s 5th largest school district. He was Colorado’s Commissioner of Education from 2007 to 2010 before he went to Nevada.
A+ Colorado is sad to see Susana Cordova leave DPS. In November, we sent out a statement about the news, thanking her for her 31+ years serving Denver’s students.
However, we are grateful to have such a competent, experienced educator like Jones to step into the gap while the district is searching for her long-term replacement. He has a strong track record of being a proven leader, who drives school improvement with a focus on students.
BoardHawk spoke with several people who know Jones and have worked with him in Colorado and published a few takeaways.
•”He is a strong manager and leader. During his tenure as education commissioner, he restored the Colorado Department of Education’s reputation after several years of turmoil and missteps. He did this in part by employing decision-making based on data. This extended to school and teacher quality, among other areas.”
•”Jones has always excelled at surrounding himself with high-functioning teams composed of smart, accomplished people. As interim, he will be in more of a caretaker role, but he is a good evaluator of talent.”
According to the Denver Post, he is expected to begin his interim term on Jan. 1. Superintendent Susana Cordova will serve DPS until the end of the year.
“He is an equity-driven leader with a broad and deep understanding of the complexities and challenges we’ll be facing over the next six months. He has been a valued and integral member of the Senior Leadership Team throughout the COVID-19 crisis. Dwight understands and is committed to our priorities, values and relationships as he was a close collaborator with the Board of Education as we developed the Crisis Priorities that serve as our roadmap during the pandemic. Given his experience, he understands the depth of the critical decisions that have to be made in the coming weeks to help plan for a return to in-person learning for January, if our health conditions allow.
Dwight has shared that he does not intend to seek the role beyond his time as interim, and the Board will be conducting a national search.”