Both of JCPS superintendent finalists are women

Posted by Charles Gazaway - email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – The Jefferson County School Board has named two finalists for the position of superintendent and announced who will be the interim superintendent, if one is necessary.  All three of those people are women.

The last female superintendent was Rosa Phillips Stonestreet elected in 1898 and served through 1910.  Stonestreet Elementary School is named after her.

"I think it will be great for my little girl in the 4th grade," said Chair of the Jefferson County Board of Education Steve Imhoff.  It would be great to say, hey we have a lady in charge of everything."

Dr. Donna Hargens is chief academic officer of the Wake County Public Schools in Raleigh, North Carolina.  It has an enrollment of 143,289 students and is the largest school district in the state and the 18th largest in the nation.  Hargens has served as interim superintendent since February 2010, when former superintendent Del Burns resigned in a dispute with the board.  Hargens had been serving as Chief Academic Officer for the district.  She received her doctorate in education leadership, management and policy from Seaton Hall University in 2005.

Dr. Christine Johns-Haines is the superintendent of the Utica Community Schools located near Detroit, MI, which has an enrolment of 29,400 and employs 1,600 teachers.  It is the second largest district in Michigan.  The board recently voted to eliminate 90 teaching positions due to budget constraints and a cutback in funding from the state legislature.

Dr. Johns-Haines has also served as deputy superintendent of curriculum and instruction at Baltimore County Public Schools which has 108,000 students.

Jefferson County Schools has 98,000 students and employs about 6,000 teachers.  It is the largest district in Kentucky.

"They're both strong on curriculum and instruction and that's the business we're in, to teach students and instruct them," said Imhoff.

JCPS has also named a retired educator to be the interim superintendent. Dr. Freda Merriweather once was the deputy superintendent for elementary school before retiring from the school system.

The school board decided not to renew the contract of the current superintendent, Dr. Sheldon Berman, when it expires on June 30. Berman has accepted a position in Oregon.

Dr. Johns-Haines will visit Louisville June 6-7th.  Her public meeting will be on Monday.  Dr. Hargens will be in town June 8-9 and meet with the public on Wednesday.  Both meetings will be at Durrett Auditorium on the Louisville Male High School campus from 6-7:30 p.m.

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