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Denver Public Schools names three finalists for superintendent job

Three school district administrators — from Florida, New York, and the Colorado city of Aurora — are finalists for the position of superintendent of Denver Public Schools, according to a district announcement Friday.

The three are Andre Wright, chief academic officer for Aurora Public Schools; Stephanie Soliven, assistant superintendent for secondary leading and learning in Brevard Public Schools in Florida; and Alex Marrero, interim superintendent for the City School District of New Rochelle in New York.

Denver Public Schools is Colorado’s largest school district with 93,000 students. The previous superintendent, Susana Cordova, left in December to take a job in Texas. The school board has spent the past five months searching for a new leader. The board is expected to vote on hiring a new superintendent next month.

In surveys and meetings, parents, teachers, students, and community members have said they want the board to hire a person of color who has experience as an educator, knowledge of Denver education issues, and a demonstrated commitment to equity.

About the three finalists:

Andre Wright, chief academic officer for Aurora Public Schools

In neighboring Aurora Public Schools, a diverse 38,000-student district southeast of Denver, Wright’s job involves helping Aurora’s schools improve their academics. He has held the position for more than three years. Wright has been in Aurora since 2014. He previously oversaw 10 schools, including Hinkley High School and East Middle School, as one of the district’s learning directors.

Before coming to Aurora, Wright was an administrator in the Atlanta-area Fulton County School System. He also served as a principal, instructional leader, and assistant principal. He first began his education career teaching middle school language arts.

Stephanie Soliven, assistant superintendent for secondary leading and learning for Brevard Public Schools in Florida

Soliven oversees the middle and high schools in Brevard Public Schools, which serves a total of more than 73,000 students. According to her biography on the district’s website, she previously served as a high school principal for eight years, and was an assistant principal before that. As a school leader, she increased academic achievement and pushed for equitable access to programs for students, her biography says.

Soliven has won several awards during her career, including Florida Assistant Principal of the Year, her biography says. She is originally from Miami.

Alex Marrero, interim superintendent for City School District of New Rochelle in New York

Marrero is the first Latinx educator to head the 10,400-student New Rochelle school system, according to the district’s website. He was appointed acting superintendent this past fall when the permanent superintendent went on medical leave. The permanent superintendent later resigned amid controversy.

Marrero joined the New Rochelle district in January 2020 as the assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction. Before that, he was an assistant superintendent in East Ramapo, New York, where he helped boost academic achievement and graduation rates, as well as an assistant principal and principal in the Bronx, his biography says.

Next Steps

Each finalist will interview with seven different groups: students, teachers and school staff, school leaders, central office staff, the senior leadership team, the school board, and a group of families and community members.

Denver Public Schools plans to livestream the student and community interviews on Thursday, May 13. The student-led interviews will take place at 4 p.m., followed by the community interviews at 6 p.m. You can watch the interviews at superintendent.dpsk12.org.

You can use the interview question submission form to submit questions through May 10.

This article was originally posted on Denver Public Schools names three finalists for superintendent job

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