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Briefs: Creek’s Chesley to retire

Mary Chesley, superintendent of the Cherry Creek Schools, will retire at the end of the school year.

She’s the second superintendent of a major metro-area district to announce their departure. Aurora Superintendent John Barry announced last month that he’s leaving at the end of the 2012-13 year.

Chesley informed the board at its meeting Monday. Chesley became superintendent at the start of 2009 and had planned to retire in 2013.

Board President Jennifer Churchfield said the board plans to interview Assistant Superintendent Harry Bull for the top job but has not announced a timetable for making a final decision. Chesley was promoted to superintendent from within the district’s administration. (See this district news release for more details.)

→ Democrat Mark Ferrandino of Denver, incoming speaker of the House, has joined the advisory committee of Democrats for Education Reform-Colorado, giving the advocacy group another highly-placed name on that body.

Other advisory members include State Board of Education member Elaine Gantz Berman, former House Speaker Terrance Carroll, Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia, former Lt. Gov. Barbara O’Brien, top Hickenlooper administration advisor Christine Scanlan and Van Schoales of A+ Denver.

→ Clayton Early Learning, one of the first in the country designated by the federal Office of Head Start as a Center of Excellence, announced plans this week for a new school in Far Northeast Denver.

Clayton Early Learning School is scheduled to open in late January at 4800 Telluride St. on the Evie Garrett Dennis campus. This new location will allow Clayton Early Learning to expand its reach by serving about 86 children and another 25 in a less formal “play and learn” group that will meet twice per week.

The new location offers Clayton Early Learning the opportunity to work closely with DPS charter schools, including SOAR, STRIVE, and the Denver School of Science and Technology middle school and high school. Clayton Early Learning School in Far Northeast will also be one among several partners in “Z Place” on the Evie Garrett Dennis campus.  Z Place will serve as a hub of comprehensive services to support kids, families and communities within the Children’s Corridor, a 14-mile stretch from Northeast Denver to Green Valley Ranch where an innovative is underway to attempt to elevate the lives and futures of families and kids.

Visit www.ClaytonEarlyLearning.com for more information or call 303-355-4411. Tuition assistance is available.

→ Metropolitan State University of Denver will hold its largest ever fall graduation on Sunday with a class of 1,271, including 15 grads who will receive degrees from Metro’s new master’s programs.

The class also is the first group to graduate with the word “university” on their degrees, following the institution’s recent name change.

Jessica Ghawi, the Metro student who was killed in the Aurora theater shooting, will be awarded an honorary bachelor of arts degree posthumously. Her mother will receive the degree.

The graduates are 56 percent female, 25 percent students of color and 68 percent transfer students who came to Metro from another institution.

→ The George W. Bush Institute has published Global Report Card 2.0, a study that claims to compare academic performance in every U.S. school district with national and international benchmarks. You can get more information and search school districts here and learn more about the study’s statistical methods here.

→ A grant from the Walmart Foundation will provide school breakfast to 3,600 more Denver Public Schools students.  Superintendent Tom Boasberg and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock were scheduled to celebrate the expansion of the “Breakfast in the Classroom” program by serving breakfast to children at Ellis Elementary on Tuesday morning. Until now, the district’s classroom breakfast program has served about 20,000 DPS students.