Three Superintendent Finalists For Denver Public Schools Announced, Community Feedback Required

Students at Denver's North High School applaud a special performance by Cirque du Solei. Photo : Latin Life Denver Media

From the 85 applicants, board members have selected three finalists: Dr. Alex Marrero, Dr. Stephanie Soliven, and Andre Wright. 

The Denver Public Schools Board of Education has been working with the Alma Advisory Group in search of the school district’s next Superintendent. “This is a moment for optimism and excitement about Denver’s future,” Board President Carrie Olson said. “We have reached an important milestone in finding a visionary leader for our district.”

 Engagement with staff, families, students and community led to three final candidates

Alex Marrero – Dr. Marrero joined the City School District of New Rochelle in January 2020 as the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction. He became the first Latinx head of the city’s school system in September, serving as acting and then interim superintendent. Prior to that, as Assistant Superintendent at the East Ramapo Central School District in New York, Alex supported schools into Good Standing and increased graduation rates. He has earned numerous awards for education, including being honored as an outstanding administrator by the Latino Caucus of the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators and inducted into the New York Academy of Public Education. Alex has earned degrees from Fordham University, Manhattan College and Sage Colleges where he was the recipient of the Outstanding Student Award.

Stephanie Soliven – Dr. Soliven is the Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Leading and Learning for the School District of Brevard County in Florida. Under her leadership, the district has increased graduation rates and participation, and success in Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, Cambridge (AICE), Career and Technical Education, and Early College programs. Prior to that, as a Principal for 8 years, Stephanie championed programs that enhanced equitable access to social-emotional development and college and career readiness programs and increased academic achievement. She has earned numerous awards for education, including having been honored nationally as a Milken Foundation educator, selected by the state of Florida Assistant Principal of the Year, and chosen as an NAACP Unsung Hero.  Stephanie earned her doctorate in education (Curriculum and Instruction) from the University of Central Florida where she also earned her masters and bachelor’s degrees.

Andre Wright – Andre Wright currently serves as the Chief Academic Officer of Aurora Public Schools (APS), where, over the past four years, he has produced consistent academic achievement increases for scholars. Prior to joining APS, he served in his home state of Georgia as Area Executive Director for the Northeast Learning Community in the Fulton County School System (FCS), an urban Atlanta-area school district with nearly 100,000 students, 100 schools, and 14,000 staff and support personnel. Andre also served FCS as Principal and Instructional Leader, leading his school to a Distinguished Title I school status every year under his direction. He was also an Assistant Principal in the Fulton County School System and in the Dekalb County School System. Andre began his teaching career as a middle school language arts teacher.

“We strongly encourage stakeholders to share their perspectives and make their voices heard by providing feedback on the finalists, Board Vice President Jennifer Bacon said. “Our next superintendent will lead our district out of the pandemic and your support will be critical in ensuring that we emerge a stronger educational system that does a better job of meeting the needs of all students to reach their dreams.”

Each finalist will interview with seven different stakeholder groups: students, teachers and school staff, school leaders, central staff, direct reports, Board of Education, and DPS parents, guardians, families, and community. DPS will live stream both the student and community interviews on Thursday, May 13. The student-led interviews will begin at 4 p.m., followed by the community interviews at 6 p.m. Please visit superintendent.dpsk12.org to watch the interviews live via Vimeo.

Community members can complete a feedback form on each of the candidates during or after the interviews on May 13. All feedback must be submitted by May 17 at 5 p.m. If you would like to share your thoughts publicly at the board’s public comment session on May 17, please sign up to speak by 5 p.m. on May 16.

At the conclusion of the finalists’ interviews, board members will review stakeholder feedback shared through the online forms. The intent of the board is to make an offer and appoint the successful candidate—pending successful formal background check—in early June. 

For more information about the superintendent search, please visit superintendent.dpsk12.org.