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State's 3 largest school districts will all be without superintendents

Denver's Susana Cordova announced last week she's leaving for a job in Dallas after JeffCo and Douglas County leaders left months ago.

DENVER — For the 87,000 students in Denver, the 81,000 students in Jefferson County and the 65,000 students in Douglas County, there will soon be not one superintendent among them.

"It's a huge challenge, I mean, finding an amazing superintendent is incredibly difficult without a pandemic," Van Schoales, A+ Colorado president, said.

A+ Colorado is a group described as an "action tank" with a focus on public education. Schoales studies and evaluates how school districts are run.

"The job was hard before and now it's remarkably difficult," Schoales said. "Managing the logistics of being out of school for kids, having kids come back, hybrids. Imagine all of the work that's required in order to do that."

He said the stress causes a national turnover rate of between 3-to-5 years for superintendents in large school districts like Denver, Jefferson and Douglas counties which are all now looking for new leadership.

"It's certainly more challenging when you have three districts in the same area and all of them trying to sell the sunshine and the weather," Schoales said.

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These districts may be in the same area, but Schoales said Denver, Jefferson and Douglas counties all have different political environments.

"There has been controversy recently in regards to the school boards and school board races and so that's going to be another factor that's going to make it challenging to find great people," Schoales said.

He hopes these districts find three great people to lead more than 233,000 students across the Denver metro area.

"There's no such thing as a great school without a great leader and there is no such thing as a great school district without a great superintendent," Schoales, said.

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