DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – As the state Legislature was nearing approval of significant changes to Iowa’s public school system, the Iowa Department of Education director accepted a job Wednesday as superintendent of a Colorado school district.
Eagle County School District in Colorado announced that Iowa Education Department Director Jason Glass accepted the job. He starts July 1.
“I’m honored to have been selected,” Glass said.
Glass was among three finalists for the Colorado job, which became available because the current superintendent is leaving to head a school district in Fort Collins, Colo.
The Colorado district, that includes the ski resort town Vail, has 6,214 students in preschool through 12th grade. Glass will earn $175,000 annually. That’s $28,000 more than his current pay.
Glass started as director of the Iowa department in late 2010.
In his Iowa position, Glass took the lead in backing education reforms that were approved by lawmakers Wednesday.
“It’s very bittersweet. We got education reform done today and I’m so proud,” he said. “It will really give Iowa a huge leg-up in having an educated workforce of the highest quality.”
Glass previously worked for Eagle County schools and the Colorado Department of Education.
Glass said he heard about the Colorado opening through friends and colleagues since he has a longstanding history with the district and personal connection to the community.
Glass, a Democrat, said he didn’t look for other jobs because of political differences while working under a Republican governor. In fact, Glass said he was proud to work alongside Gov. Terry Branstad, who “puts governing ahead of politics.”
“The governor understands that any time you attract top talent; others will want to hire them away,” said Tim Albrecht, a spokesman for Branstad.
Albrecht said a decision on how select Glass’ replacement has not yet been made.
– By MACKENZIE ELMLER, Associated Press
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