Superintendent turnover: 2 big districts pick new leaders

One of the nation's largest districts and Atlanta Public Schools chose new leaders this week as the steady pace of superintendent turnover continued, including a handful of departures.

One of the nation’s largest districts and Atlanta Public Schools chose new leaders this week as the steady pace of superintendent turnover continued.

Thomas Taylor
Thomas Taylor

Thomas Taylor, currently the superintendent of Stafford County Public Schools in Virginia, was named the next superintendent of his alma mater, Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland. Taylor, a district administrator for 12 years and an educator for 25, has served as superintendent in Middlesex County (Va.) and deputy superintendent in Chesterfield County (Va.).

Atlanta Public Schools also tapped a former superintendent, Bryan Johnson, as its next leader. Johnson, currently executive vice chancellor and chief strategy officer at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, was formerly the superintendent of Hamilton County Schools (Tenn.) from 2017 to 2021 and chief academic officer of the Clarksville-Montgomery County School System.

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Another superintendent on the move is Ryan S. Saxe, who is taking the helm of West Virginia’s Berkeley County Schools after leading Cabell County Schools since 2017. Cabell County Schools has already selected Saxe’s replacement: Tim Hardesty, superintendent of the Mason County School District (W.Va.).

First-timers stepping into the superintendency include Michelle Thomson at the Forest Park Schools in Michigan and Jesus “Jesse” Chavarria, who has been promoted from assistant superintendent for administrative services to superintendent at the Anaheim Elementary School District in California.

Renee Smith
Renee Smith

Kentucky’s Jackson County Public Schools has hired Renee Smith as its next superintendent. Smith has been an administrator at Clay County Public Schools for the past 12 years.

In Texas, Houston ISD administrator Joseph Villarreal has been named superintendent of Santa Maria ISD while in Ohio, Zachary Weagley has been picked to lead the Keystone Local School District. Weagley is currently assistant superintendent of teaching, learning and leadership for the Willoughby Eastlake City Schools.

More new hires

Superintendent turnover: Departures

Among the most notable departures is Jamie Wilson, who is retiring after 12 years as superintendent of Denton ISD in Texas. In New York, Superintendent Daniel D. Bowles will retire in August after leading the North Syracuse Central School District since 2019. Elsewhere:

  • Jaime Cole is resigning from Peru Community Schools (Indiana).
  • Thurston Lamb resigned as superintendent of Henderson ISD (Texas).
  • Superintendent Carol G. Perez has reached a separation agreement with the Mission Consolidated Independent School District (Texas).
  • Superintendent Cosimo Tangorra will retire in March from the New Hartford Central School District (New York).
Matt Zalaznick
Matt Zalaznick
Matt Zalaznick is the managing editor of District Administration and 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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