The Poudre School District Board of Education is undergoing a search for the next permanent district superintendent.
The board's goal is for the new superintendent to start July 2021, so they are in place to lead at the start of the 2021-22 school year and beyond. Dr. Todd Lambert is serving as interim superintendent for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year.
The board hired education consulting firm Hazard Young Attea & Associates, or HYA, to help conduct a nationwide search and identify strong candidates. The school board will ultimately decide whom to hire as PSD’s next top leader. Members of our communities had an opportunity to provide input during the search.
Brian Kingsley named new PSD superintendent
Following a months-long national search, the board named Brian Kingsley as PSD's new superintendent during a meeting April 13. The board voted 7-0 to approve his appointment.
The board will enter into an employment contract with Kingsley as soon as possible, with an intended start date of July 1. His appointment is subject to successful contract negotiations.
You can learn more about Kingsley, the finalists, the superintendent search timeline and process below.
Superintendent search timeline
- Superintendent application closes; board reviews candidate applications and interview materials
- Board conducts initial interviews with candidates
- Board announces superintendent finalists (per state statute,14 days must pass between announcement of finalists and the appointment of a finalist to the position of superintendent)
- Search firm HYA hosts virtual finalist candidate forums open to the public via online livestreams; dates/times/access information will be posted as soon as it is available
- Board interviews candidate finalists in public via online livestream; dates/times/access information will be posted as soon as it is available
- Board appoints superintendent with target start date in July
Board announces three superintendent finalists
The board announced three finalists for PSD superintendent during a special board meeting March 29. The finalists are:
- Jonathan Cooper, superintendent of Mason City Schools in Ohio Note: Mr. Cooper withdrew as a finalist on April 7.
- Brian Kingsley, chief academic officer of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in Charlotte, NC
- Heather Sánchez, executive director of schools for the Bellevue School District in Bellevue, WA
Get to know them in the bios they submitted:
Jonathan Cooper Bio - Mr. Cooper withdrew as a finalist on April 7
Jonathan Cooper is currently superintendent of one of the top performing districts in the state of Ohio. Mason City Schools is ranked in the top 10 high achieving districts in the state and the high school is recognized nationally as a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence. It is known as a destination district and one of the main factors in attracting top executive talent to the region supporting the local economic development growth. Prior to becoming Mason’s superintendent, Jonathan served as the district’s Chief Innovation Officer. He has also been an elementary school principal and teacher and has received accolades for community partnerships, statewide presentations, and communication methods and messages.
Jonathan is an innovative and instructional leader with a genuine passion to create a culture that provides personalized learning to grow all learners to their individual potential. Recognized and respected as an authentic leader who draws upon clear and well-defined values to navigate difficult situations, challenges, and change with courage, confidence, and humility. He is an inspirational leader who creates a shared vision by leveraging a community-sourced approach that ensures all voices are valued. A passionate pursuit for community engagement and ongoing partnership development anchored in trustworthy relationships. Builds meaningful relationships and community confidence through listening with a spirit of empathy and bringing people together through clear, transparent, and consistent communication. A humble, hungry leader with the ultimate goal of serving the Poudre School District community by leading and inspiring teams of leaders to aspire and work toward creating positive results and experiences for all learners.
Jonathan has four children ages 15, 13, 10, and 8, one of whom is a child with special needs. The children are active in athletics and the arts, and his wife works part-time from home for a wealth management company and is “an amazing mom.”
Brian Kingsley Bio
Brian Kingsley is the Chief Academic Officer of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, the nation’s 18th largest school system. His experiences as a teacher, principal, and chief academic officer within three of the largest, most diverse school systems in the US are characterized by a deep commitment to identify and close racial and economic opportunity and achievement gaps for students. He has delivered results and successfully prioritized and managed system-wide academic strategies and district budgets larger than $250M.
Kingsley believes that education can change the trajectory of students’ lives because he was taught early in life to believe in himself through the faith, hard work and endless commitment of his teachers and coaches in Scranton, PA. Today, the legacy impacts of these educators continue to inspire him to provide every opportunity to every student in every one of his district’s classrooms.
Prior to his current role, Kingsley was the assistant superintendent of academics for the Wake County Public School System in North Carolina. Under his leadership, the district attained its highest ever graduation rate and significantly closed the opportunity gap for students of color in advanced placement courses. Kingsley oversaw the district’s nationally renowned magnet school programs, led the expansion effort of career academy programs across all high schools, and oversaw the development and implementation of three innovative, non-traditional high school models to better meet diverse student needs.
Kingsley served as chief academic officer and executive director of instruction and interventions for Broward County Public Schools, Florida. While in this role, the district achieved its highest graduation rate in five years and implemented system-wide shifts in how teachers use technology to improve instruction and student learning experiences. Kingsley played a key role in developing overall strategies and community-wide engagement initiatives for a successful $800M bond referendum for critical capital improvements funding.
Kingsley began his career in education as a middle school teacher and principal in Broward County. During his tenure as principal, he was named Florida’s Middle School Principal of the Year in 2014 and Broward County’s Principal of the Year in 2013. Central to both honors were Kingsley’s leadership in pivoting his school from one in danger of closing due to poor student achievement to one of the district’s highest performing schools.
Kingsley earned a bachelor’s degree from Penn State University in Elementary Education, and a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Florida Atlantic University. Brian and his wife Marilyn have two sons, Logan and Aidan. Social justice underpins Kingsley’s values as an education leader and informs his vision of every student achieving educational success, feeling valued and contributing to a thriving community.
Heather Sánchez Bio
Heather Sánchez has been in PreK-12 public education for over 20 years and has served in a variety of roles at the elementary, secondary and district levels to include: classroom teacher, program coordinator, instructional specialist, building principal and multiple key K-12 central office leadership roles in large school districts.
Ms. Sánchez currently serves as an Executive Director of Schools for the Bellevue School District in Bellevue, Washington where she provides support and supervision for schools as well as being responsible for implementation of key components of the district’s strategic plan and priority goals. In her current role, Ms. Sánchez regularly partners with families, school staff and community members to ensure a systemic equity-driven culture of service as well as improved outcomes for all students.
Ms. Sánchez previously served as a Director of Accelerated Programs, Choice and Innovation where her focus was on improving access to outcomes for a wide variety of K-12 Accelerated Programs including gifted programs, Advanced Placement (AP), Choice Schools and Early College in the High School. She has also served as an elementary building principal for a diverse range of schools that included Dual-Language, Title I Services and STEM programs. Earlier in her career, Ms. Sánchez served as both a Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA) and department administrator for Professional Development, as well as an instructional coach and classroom teacher at the secondary level in New Mexico and Colorado. In each of her professional roles, Ms. Sánchez has demonstrated clear improved results for students.
Holding a B.S. in Secondary Education from Western New Mexico University (WNMU), an M.S. in Curriculum & Instruction and K-12 Principal Credential from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (UCCS) and a K-12 Superintendent Credential from Seattle Pacific University (SPU), Ms. Sánchez is also in the process of completing her EdD degree from Seattle Pacific University (SPU).
Originally from New Mexico, Ms. Sánchez is passionate about celebrating cultural and linguistic diversity and in ensuring that all students have the opportunity to experience a rigorous and enriching school experience. “I am deeply honored to have been selected as a superintendent finalist for the Poudre School District and look forward to the opportunity to partner with and serve the entire district community. Poudre has a rich history of excellence and a commitment to continually striving for the highest quality learning experience for each and every student. I am deeply committed to working relentlessly toward this goal and am thrilled to have the opportunity to return to being a part of the community very soon.”
In her free time, Ms. Sánchez enjoys spending time with her husband César (a high school science teacher) and their three sons. The family are avid skiers and also enjoy camping, hiking, biking, fishing and all that the great outdoors has to offer.
Watch the board's interviews of superintendent finalists
The board interviewed superintendent finalists during a public livestreamed event on April 6. You can watch the interviews and see each finalists 100-day entry plan presentation on PSD TV YouTube or in the video below. Note: Jonathan Cooper withdrew as a finalist on April 7.
Virtual forums held April 1 and 2 for staff and community
Search firm HYA hosted two virtual forums on April 1 and 2 for PSD staff and community members to meet the superintendent finalists. Staff and community members had an opportunity to submit feedback forms for each candidate to HYA by 9:59 p.m. April 6. You can watch the recorded forums on PSD TV YouTube. Note: Jonathan Cooper withdrew as a finalist on April 7.
- April 1 staff forums: Jonathan Cooper 4-1 | Brian Kingsley 4-1 | Heather Sánchez 4-1
- April 2 community forums: Jonathan Cooper 4-2 | Brian Kingsley 4-2 | Heather Sánchez 4-2
HYA presents leadership profile to board at Feb. 9 meeting
As part of the superintendent search process, HYA conducted three virtual community forums, 21 focus groups and individual interviews with stakeholders to learn about what members of our communities want to see in the next superintendent. The firm also collected data from a survey of PSD stakeholders. In total, 2,345 people completed the survey, including parents/guardians, staff, students, community partners and taxpayers without children currently in school. HYA compiled the results of all community engagement efforts into a Leadership Profile Report.
- View a summary of the Leadership Profile Report
- View the complete Leadership Profile Report
- Watch HYA's presentation to the board Feb. 9 in this PSD TV video:
Find related information in these news items: