By Audra Streetman

DENVER (CBS4) – Denver Public Schools announced on Wednesday night that Dwight Jones, the district’s Senior Deputy Superintendent for Equity, will serve as Interim Superintendent through July 2021. DPS Superintendent Susana Cordova announced in November that she is leaving Denver and has accepted a position with the Dallas Independent School District as the Deputy Superintendent of Leading and Learning.

Dwight Jones (credit: DPS)

The DPS Board of Education will vote to confirm the interim position on Dec. 17. Jones is expected to assume the role on Jan. 1.

“Dwight’s heart and passion for strong public schools is reflected in his commitment to equity work in DPS,” said Dr. Carrie Olson, DPS Board President. “Dwight is one of Colorado’s most respected and experienced leaders in public education, and the Board has tremendous confidence that he is the right person to guide the district through this next phase of leadership.”

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Jones previously served as the Colorado Commissioner of Education from 2007-2010, overseeing the education of more than 830,000 students across more than 1,700 schools in 178 public school districts. According to his online resume, Jones oversaw the development of the Colorado Growth Model, which has been implemented in more than 15 states.

Before joining DPS in 2019, Jones served as Senior Vice President of Equity, Inclusion & Urban Markets at McGraw-Hill Education. Jones also served as the superintendent of Clark County School District in Las Vegas, Nevada, the nation’s fifth largest school district.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock issued the following statement about the announcement:

“I’m pleased to support the selection of Dwight Jones as interim Superintendent of Denver Public Schools. DPS needs a leader right now who understands and has strong relationships with the community and other stakeholders, and I believe Jones will be able to provide that leadership during this transition period. His deep experience in district administration, and his commitment to equity and student achievement, will be critical as DPS continues to navigate the pandemic, remote learning and the eventual return to in-person learning for all DPS students. Jones has been a key strategic partner with several city initiatives, including the My Brother’s Keeper initiative which seeks to improve outcomes for boys and young men of color. With this appointment I am confident that the DPS Board of Education is taking its commitment to improving their relationship with the superintendent and community seriously, and I look forward to supporting Dwight Jones and the board as they manage this transition.”

Superintendent Susana Cordova will serve DPS through the end of the year. Cordova took over as superintendent nearly two years ago. She began her DPS teaching career in 1989 as a bilingual secondary teacher then became a principal before moving on to district leadership.

Susana Cordova (credit: CBS)

DPS officials said Jones does not intend to seek the permanent superintendent position. The Board of Education will meet on Dec. 9 to discuss a timeline for selecting the district’s next leader.

The board plans to hire a firm to conduct a nationwide search. The district plans to seek community feedback throughout the process.

Audra Streetman