SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Feb. 10, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — The Salt Lake City School District has announced the three finalists for the position of superintendent.
The three finalists are (in alphabetical order by last name):
- Dr. Jharrett Bryantt
- Dr. Timothy Gadson
- Dr. Wendy González
The Salt Lake City School District shared career details of each of the candidates:
Bryantt is an executive leader in the Houston Independent School District, the seventh largest school district in the United States. He was appointed as an Assistant Superintendent in 2016, overseeing college readiness, advanced academics, and innovative initiatives for the district.
In 2019, Bryantt was recognized in Forbes Magazine’s 30 Under 30 list in Education for expanding access to postsecondary opportunities for Houston students. Bryantt received his doctoral degree in Education Policy & Leadership from the University of Texas at Austin Cooperative Superintendency Program, and a Bachelor of Science degree from Yale University.
Gadson is currently Associate Superintendent of High Schools with Anoka-Hennepin Schools in Anoka, Minnesota. Dr. Gadson received his Bachelor’s degree in Business Economics and Secondary Education from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University in Tallahassee, Florida, and his Master’s and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from Washington State University in Pullman, Washington.
Gadson served as an assistant principal and principal at various levels, including primary, middle, high school, and alternative education in Broward County and Palm Beach County. He was also District Director of Secondary Education while employed with Palm Beach County School District. Dr. Gadson led reform and transformation efforts at several high schools in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as Chief Transformation Officer with a private transformation firm from 2010–2012. He supervised high school operations for the Austin Independent School District in Austin, Texas, served as Associate Superintendent with Atlanta Public Schools, and was Executive Director of Curriculum and Schools with Robbinsdale Area Schools in New Hope, Minnesota.
He believes that all children can learn and will learn when the curricular content and instructional delivery are both of quality and culturally relevant and responsive.
González, an educator with 28 years of experience, is currently serving as the Superintendent of Page County Public Schools in Luray, Virginia. Prior to her superintendency, González served as the Director of Teaching, Learning, and Accountability in Charles City County, Virginia, and as the Coordinator of Accountability and Assessment for Williamsburg-James City County Schools in Williamsburg, Virginia.
Before serving in central office administrative roles, Dr. González held a variety of leadership positions with diverse populations as an assistant principal, dean of students and a school improvement coach in Chesterfield County, Virginia, where she also taught for many years at her alma mater. She began her teaching career in Rockingham County, Virginia. Dr. González holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish from James Madison University, where she was awarded the Outstanding JMU Student of the Year in Secondary Education Award. She also holds a Master’s degree in Education and Human Development in Educational Leadership and Administration from The George Washington University and a Doctorate of Education degree in Educational Administration and Policy Studies from The George Washington University.
Board President Melissa Ford said in a prepared statement that all three candidates have good credentials.
“Even from just hearing their bios, it’s easy to see why we’ve been so impressed with these three candidates,” Ford said. “They each bring a different perspective, and each of them is a model of the most important attributes we hope to find in our next superintendent. We look forward to welcoming each of them to Salt Lake City in person next week.”
Board Vice President Nate Salazar also commented.
“We received 33 completed applications from extremely qualified candidates from around the country, including several highly qualified internal candidates,” he said. “We used the feedback provided from parents, employees, students, and stakeholders as the yardstick by which we judged candidates as we interviewed them.
“Our goal was to select candidates who would best represent what our community was looking for. We feel we’ve done that with these three finalists, and now, we need to ask for community input one more time to make sure we choose the right person to lead the Salt Lake City School District.”
Next week, each candidate will have the opportunity to visit Salt Lake City to learn more about the Salt Lake City School District, its students and employees, and the vibrant community in the city. Candidates will each have one day to visit schools and meet virtually with students, parents, employees, and community stakeholders. They will also participate in a public Board interview during their assigned date. This interview will be livestreamed to allow greater access to members of the community.
Candidates will visit Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Feb. 16, Wednesday, Feb. 17, and Thursday, Feb. 18. The Board hopes to have input and participation from as many parents, employees, students, and other stakeholders as possible at the following virtual forums:
Community forums will be held nightly from 7-7:50 p.m. on Feb. 16, Feb. 17, and Feb. 18. All community members and stakeholder are invited to participate. The forum will be streamed via Zoom webinar, and participants who wish to ask questions will be able to do so during the forum via the webinar Q&A function.
Parent Forums: These will be held nightly from 8-8:50 p.m. on Feb. 16, Feb. 17, and Feb. 18. Parents will receive instructions via email for how to participate. They will also receive a form via email allowing them to submit questions for the superintendent candidates. The questions will be vetted by Ray and Associates, the consultants hired by the Board to manage the search for a new superintendent.
Students: Students will also have the opportunity to submit questions for the superintendent candidates. These will also be vetted by Ray and Associates. Questions will be asked to each candidate by student leaders at each of the three traditional high schools in the district: East High School, Highland High School, and West High School. Candidates will visit virtually with student leaders as part of their time in Salt Lake City.
Each candidate’s conversation with student leaders will be recorded and will be made available via YouTube so all students can watch at their convenience.