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Jeffco schools’ leadership team acting as interim superintendent

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Board to discuss naming one temporary leader at next meeting

By Daniel Laverty

Jeffco schools’ leadership team will act as the district’s superintendent for at least one week, the Board of Education decided on Feb. 18.

The leadership team is made up of Marcia Anker, chief school effectiveness officer; Heather Beck, chief academic officer; Lorrie Gillis, chief financial officer; and Steve Bell, the district’s chief operating officer.

The arrangement will most likely be short-lived, however, as the board will discuss and vote on an interim superintendent at its Feb. 27 meeting.

Former superintendent Cindy Stevenson’s last day was Feb. 21.

Board President Ken Witt opened the Feb. 18 meeting by asking the board to approve having the leadership team act as superintendent while the board selects a new leader for Jeffco Public Schools. 

Board members Jill Fellman and Lesley Dahlkemper voiced concerns about having a team report to the board instead of an individual.

“We need a point of leadership,” Fellman said.  

Dahlkemper made a motion.

“I’d move that the board elect an interim superintendent,” Dahlkemper said. “It’s not the board’s job to micromanage the district. We need to support the transition. We need to have one interim CEO who reports to the board.

“Who will call the final shot? Who makes the final decision should an emergency arise?” Dahlkemper asked. “I would strongly recommend we select an interim to serve while we search for a new superintendent.”

Witt at one point seemed to agree with Fellman’s and Dahlkemper’s notions on an interim superintendent. 

“An alternative might be to bring in someone who is well-known and trusted, but has no long-term aspirations (with Jeffco),” Witt said. “Someone like (Columbine High School principal) Frank DeAngelis.”

DeAngelis announced his retirement from Columbine High at the start of the school year, effective in June.

“I’d like some more time to review the candidates,” Williams said. “I don’t think I can make a decision on this tonight.”

Witt advised the board to approve his original motion and agreed to discuss selecting an interim superintendent at the board’s Feb. 27 meeting. 

Before the vote, Fellman and Dahlkemper again voiced concerns about not having one person designated to make a final decision and leaving the district without an interim leader.

The motion passed 3-2, with Dahlkemper and Fellman voting against it.

 

Contact Daniel Laverty at 303-350-1042 or Daniel@evergreenco.com. Check www.ColumbineCourier.com for updates and breaking news. Follow Daniel on Twitter @LavertyReports.