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Denver school board may extend new superintendent’s contract

A portrait of Denver schools Superintendent Alex Marrero. He is sitting at a table with his hands crossed in front of him. He’s looking off to the side. He’s wearing glasses and a gray suit.
Denver Public Schools Superintendent Alex Marrero started on the job in July.
AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post

The Denver school board will consider a motion Thursday to extend the contract of Superintendent Alex Marrero, who started on the job in July.

Marrero’s current contract is for two years, until June 2023. The motion calls for extending his contract by two years, until June 2025. Both versions include an automatic one-year renewal, which means Marrero’s contract would end in June 2026 if the motion passes.

“The board of education believes that it is paramount for the Denver Public Schools to have a superintendent that provides both stability and continuity,” the motion says.

“These proposed amendments have been agreed to by the superintendent,” it says.

A district statement that quotes board President Xóchitl “Sochi” Gaytán and Vice President Tay Anderson says Marrero has “shown exceptional leadership” over the past five months. Gaytán praised a 100-day listening tour he conducted and said extending his contract will allow the district to “move forward with the implementation of a strategic plan that greatly benefits our diverse student population.”

“The entire DPS community has asked for consistent, bold, and authentic leadership,” Anderson said. “Tomorrow we deliver on those requests by extending Dr. Marrero’s contract. This bold move ensures that we have the right leader to lead us out of the pandemic and to restore the promise of education for all students in the Denver Public Schools.”

Marrero was hired as superintendent by the school board in June. A school board election last month ushered in three new school board members, and resulted in a leadership shakeup. The three new members, including Gaytán, were elected to leadership positions.

The motion does not change Marrero’s salary. He earns $260,000 per year. That’s the same salary earned by the previous superintendent, Susana Cordova, and more than the $242,125 previous district leader Tom Boasberg made when he left in 2018.

Cordova’s last contract was for 3½ years with an automatic one-year renewal. Boasberg’s first contract was for four years, but his last contract was for two.

The motion calls for Marrero to receive a performance evaluation each year by Oct. 31. He has not yet received a formal evaluation in the five months he’s been on the job.

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