Dwight Jones, a senior deputy superintendent in Denver Public Schools, has been named interim superintendent as the school board searches for a permanent leader.
Current Superintendent Susana Cordova is resigning after nearly two years at the helm of Colorado’s largest school district. Jones is set to begin as interim leader on Jan. 1.
Jones served as the Colorado commissioner of education from 2007 until 2010. After that, he was superintendent of the Clark County School District in Las Vegas, the fifth-largest school district in the country. Jones was recruited by Cordova to join Denver Public Schools last year to lead the district’s work on equity and engagement.
“I will lead as I always do: support and service for our students, teachers, principals, and community,” said Jones, who promised to bring continuity to the interim role. Jones does not intend to seek to become the permanent superintendent, a district press release said.
Board members and Cordova praised Jones for his depth of experience in education, having started his career as a teacher and served as a high school principal before moving into leadership roles. They thanked him for his calming presence and steady focus. Jones has helped shape the district’s priorities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’re incredibly lucky to have you, and your availability is perfect,” said board member Scott Baldermann. “I know this is going to be a smooth transition.”
Board President Carrie Olson remarked that Jones leads “with students at your heart.” Board member Tay Anderson said Jones will serve as “an inspiration to our Black men in Denver Public Schools that they can see themselves reflected in the highest points of leadership.”
The board is set to vote on Dec. 17 to formally appoint Jones to the role.
Board Vice President Jennifer Bacon said the board will hire a search firm to help it conduct a nationwide search for Denver Public Schools’ next leader. The board hopes to have a permanent superintendent in place for the start of next school year.