DENVER — The Denver Public Schools Board of Education has named three finalists in its search for a new superintendent.
DPS selected Alma Advisory Group, a national firm, to lead the search for a superintendent to replace Susana Cordova in February. There were ultimately 85 applicants for the vacant position, and the board’s goal is to make an offer and appoint a candidate by early June, according to a news release from the district.
Before the three finalists were selected, Alma interviewed 20 candidates and the school board interviewed 15 selected from that group.
Board members said that a focus of constituents is representation for Latino students, who make up the largest demographic in DPS schools at 52%.
"I know how important it is for our community to have representation in leaders that look like them," DPS School Board President Dr. Cary Olsen said. "We evaluated interview all of our candidates and evaluated them based on the qualities that we put out in the job search. While that wasn't something we necessarily said we had to have, it was definitely something in the back of our minds."
The three finalists have been identified as:
Dr. Alex Marrero
Marrero became the first Latinx head of the New Rochelle, New York school district in September 2020, serving as acting and then interim superintendent, according to DPS. Prior to that, he had a leadership position at the East Ramapo Central School District in New York.
He has degrees from Fordham University, Manhattan College and Sage Colleges.
Dr. Stephanie Soliven
Soliven is currently the assistant superintendent for Secondary Leading and Learning for the Brevard County, Florida School District. DPS said she worked as a high school principal for eight years before that and was once selected as the Florida Assistant Principal of the Year.
She has a doctorate in education from the University of Central Florida, where she also earned her master’s and bachelor’s degrees.
Wright is currently the chief academic officer of Aurora Public Schools and previously served as the area director for the Northeast Learning Community in the Fulton County School System in his home state of George.
He began his career as a middle school language arts teacher.
Now that the finalists have been selected, DPS said they will interview with seven different groups: students, teachers and school staff, school leaders, central staff, direct reports, the Board of Education, and DPS parents, guardians, families and community.
The student-led and community interviews will be live-streamed beginning at 4 p.m. on May 13.
Community members can later complete feedback forms, which will be reviewed by the board, which will make the offer.
For more information about the superintendent search, visit superintendent.dpsk12.org.
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