Ousted superintendent lands on his feet and 2 historic hires

State College Area School District in Pennsylvania has chosen Curtis Johnson to be the system's first Black superintendent.

A superintendent who left his post with a high-profile payout after clashing with his school board has landed in the nonprofit world.

Baron Davis, who stepped down as superintendent of Richland School District Two—one of South Carolina’s largest school systems—in January with a $615,000 severance package, will become a senior advisor with Digital Promise, an education nonprofit created by President Barack Obama in 2011, WLTX.com reported.

Davis, who was hired in 2017, was the district’s first Black leader and received a contract extension in September but had fallen out of favor with a majority of the school board’s membersThe State reported.

In more recent departures, Cade Smith suddenly resigned as superintendent of New Braunfels ISD near Austin, Texas just short of two years on the job. During Smith’s tenure, voters approved a bond measure to build a new high school and an elementary school in the growing district, the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung reported. In California, Tiffany Morse is leaving her post as superintendent after reaching a separation agreement with the school board, according to the Ojai Valley News. When Morse was hired in 2019 it was her first time as a superintendent.

2 historic hires

In the first of a pair of historic hires, the State College Area School District in Pennsylvania has chosen Curtis Johnson to be the system’s first Black superintendent. Johnson, who had been serving as interim superintendent for the past 10 months, has worked for the district for 20 years and served as principal of State College Area High School for five years. Abbie Redmon has been named the first female superintendent of Warrick County School Corporation in Indiana, where she is currently the director of learning, the Evansville Courier & Press reported.

Corey W. Reynolds
Corey W. Reynolds

In another high-profile hire, Corey Reynolds will become the next superintendent of the City School District of New Rochelle, just north of New York City. Reynolds, who will take the helm on July 1, is now the district’s assistant superintendent for human resources and chief human resources officer.

Here’s a rundown of other comings and goings at the top of K12 leadership:

  • Martina Wagner has been named the next superintendent at Red Wing Public Schools in Minnesota.
  • Jennifer Allerding has resigned as superintendent of Galion City School District to become superintendent of the Loudonville-Perrysville Exempted Village School District in August, according to CrawfordCountyNow.com.
  • Matthew Zimmerman will replace Superintendent Chris VanderHeyden when he retires in June from the Menasha Joint School District in Wisconsin.
  • Michael Lamb will leave his job as superintendent of Sulphur Springs ISD this summer to become superintendent of another Texas district, Little Elm ISD.
  • The Bennington Public School District in Nebraska has chosen Aaron Plas as its new superintendent. Plas is currently the superintendent at Lakeview Community Schools in Columbus, Nebraska.
  • Micah Hill, currently the superintendent of Kalispell Public Schools, will take over as superintendent of Missoula County Public Schools in Montana in July.
  • The North Beach School District in Washington has picked Jim Shank to become its next superintendent in July.
  • John Kellogg will leave his post as superintendent of Ohio’s Westerville City Schools this summer to become the superintendent in residence for the Educational Service Center of Central Ohio and Columbus State Community College, ABC6OnYourSide reported.

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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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