Denver Public Schools’ superintendent search is nearing completion, with three finalists announced earlier this month. 85 applicants applied for the position. Following the announcement last November that Susana Cordova was stepping down to take a position in Texas, the district hired an independent search firm to assist in the process.
The three finalists (biographies and photos from DPS):
Alex Marrero – Dr. Marrero joined the City School District of New Rochelle in January 2020 as the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction. He became the first Latinx head of the city’s school system in September, serving as acting and then interim superintendent. Prior to that, as Assistant Superintendent at the East Ramapo Central School District in New York, Alex supported schools into Good Standing and increased graduation rates. He has earned numerous awards for education, including being honored as an outstanding administrator by the Latino Caucus of the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators and inducted into the New York Academy of Public Education. Alex has earned degrees from Fordham University, Manhattan College and Sage Colleges where he was the recipient of the Outstanding Student Award.
Stephanie Soliven – Dr. Soliven is the Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Leading and Learning for the School District of Brevard County in Florida. Under her leadership, the district has increased graduation rates and participation, and success in Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, Cambridge (AICE), Career and Technical Education, and Early College programs. Prior to that, as a Principal for 8 years, Stephanie championed programs that enhanced equitable access to social-emotional development and college and career readiness programs and increased academic achievement. She has earned numerous awards for education, including having been honored nationally as a Milken Foundation educator, selected by the state of Florida Assistant Principal of the Year, and chosen as an NAACP Unsung Hero. Stephanie earned her doctorate in education (Curriculum and Instruction) from the University of Central Florida where she also earned her masters and bachelor’s degrees.
Andre Wright – Andre Wright currently serves as the Chief Academic Officer of Aurora Public Schools (APS), where, over the past four years, he has produced consistent academic achievement increases for scholars. Prior to joining APS, he served in his home state of Georgia as Area Executive Director for the Northeast Learning Community in the Fulton County School System (FCS), an urban Atlanta-area school district with nearly 100,000 students, 100 schools, and 14,000 staff and support personnel. Andre also served FCS as Principal and Instructional Leader, leading his school to a Distinguished Title I school status every year under his direction. He was also an Assistant Principal in the Fulton County School System and in the Dekalb County School System. Andre began his teaching career as a middle school language arts teacher.
On May 13th, each finalist interviewed with groups ranging from students to staff to the board, which will ultimately make a decision. Interviews were livestreamed and are available online.
Note: Delivery of The Denver North Star began on May 14 and takes about a week. Unfortunately, that means we are unable to cover the May 17 DPS Board Meeting where the public is speaking to the board before they make a determination. DPS Board of Education Director Reverend Brad Laurvick, who represents North and West Denver, will provide our elected official update in our June issue to discuss the final decision and DPS’ new superintendent.