5 first-time superintendents are moving into the top spot

Several school boards are filling a seemingly continuous string of vacancies with first-time superintendents—and many of the new leaders are female.

Several school boards are giving first-time superintendents a shot at the top position as districts fill a seemingly continuous string of vacancies. Many of the new leaders, moreover, are female.

Two smaller Texas districts have made external hires to lead their students and staff in 2024. Tonya J. Harris is the lone finalist for Superintendent of Itasca ISD. Texas mandates a 21-day waiting period before an incoming superintendent can sign their contract and start the job. Harris has been the principal of Waxahachie High School (Waxahachie ISD) since 2019.

Taylor ISD has chosen as its next superintendent Jennifer Garcia-Edwardsen, who is currently chief of schools at New Braunfels ISD and was previously deputy academic officer at Hays CISD.

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The Johnston Community School District near Des Moines, Iowa has promoted its interim superintendent, Nikki Roorda, to the top spot full-time. Roorda has also served as the district’s associate superintendent and executive director of teaching and learning.

More first-time superintendents

The Mark Twain Union Elementary School District in California has named Eric Griffin its next superintendent. Griffin was the director of curriculum, instruction, and assessment with the Chowchilla Elementary School District, also in California, according to myMotherLode.com.

In Missouri, assistant superintendent Brandon Gregory will take the helm at the North St. Francois County R-I School District when current Superintendent Katheryn Bockman retires on June 30, the Daily Journal Online reported.

Another superintendent who has found a new home is New Jersey’s Michelle CarneyRay-Yoder, who is moving from the top spot at the the Somers Point School District to the Central Regional School District. CarneyRay-Yoder has also been an administrator in Margate City Schools and Egg Harbor Township.

Matt Zalaznick
Matt Zalaznick
Matt Zalaznick is a life-long journalist. Prior to writing for District Administration he worked in daily news all over the country, from the NYC suburbs to the Rocky Mountains, Silicon Valley and the U.S. Virgin Islands. He's also in a band.

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