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Dallas Names Lone Finalist, New Leaders Named in Pinellas and Washoe

  • Dallas Independent School District recently named Stephanie Elizalde as the lone finalist in their superintendent search. Elizalde is the superintendent of Texas’ Austin Independent School District and will succeed Michael Hinojosa, who is stepping down as superintendent of the state’s second largest school district in Texas with 145,000-students. Hinojosa has led the district since 2015 and previously served in the role from 2005 to 2011.

    Elizalde became the superintendent of the 80,000-student school system in Austin in 2020, becoming the district’s first Latina superintendent. Prior to joining the Austin school district, she served as chief of schools for the Dallas school system.

    Before coming to Austin, Elizalde was the chief of school leadership for the Dallas school system.

    There is a 21-day state-mandated waiting period before Elizalde can officially become the next Dallas superintendent.

    Florida’s Pinellas County Schools recently named Kevin Hendrick, the district’s associate superintendent of teaching and learning, to lead the 109,100-student school district. A graduate of the school system, Hendrick will succeed Michael Grego, who is retiring at the end of the school year after serving 10 years at the helm.

    Hendrick started his career in education 24 years ago as a math teacher at Pinellas Park High School and also worked as the director of high school education. He spent nine years as the principal of Northeast High School and under his leadership helped raise the school’s grade from a D to an A.

    “I want to express my deep gratitude to the School Board for entrusting me with this responsibility,” said Hendrick in a press release after his selection as superintendent was announced.  “I look forward to working with the Board, staff, families, students and partners of our community to advance the legacy of greatness in this district.”

    The Washoe County School District in Reno, Nevada recently selected Susan Enfield to serve as its next superintendent, succeeding Kristen McNeill, who will retire on June 30 after serving at the helm since 2019. The district is the second largest in Nevada with 61,599 students.

    Enfield has served as superintendent of Highline Public Schools in Burien, Washington since 2012, and during her 10-year tenure the 18,770-student school district made significant strides in closing the achievement gap and increasing the graduation rate.

    Prior to becoming superintendent, Enfield served as chief academic officer and interim superintendent in Seattle Public Schools. She also was the director of the office of teaching and learning in Oregon’s Portland Public Schools.

    In a tweet following the announcement of her selection as superintendent, Enfield wrote, “I am honored and beyond thrilled that the (Washoe County School District’s) Board of Trustees has chosen me as their next superintendent. I look forward to living, leading and serving in Washoe County.”

    Interim Selected in Guilford

    Whitney Oakley, deputy superintendent for Guilford County Schools in Greensboro, N.C., was named acting superintendent starting July 11. Oakley will assume the position of interim superintendent Sept. 1, succeeding Sharon Contreras.

    A Greensboro native, Oakley attended Guilford County Schools from kindergarten to high school. She has held various leadership positions in the 70,000-student school district, including chief academic officer and assistant superintendent of teaching, learning and professional development. She was appointed deputy superintendent in September 2021.

    Minneapolis Names Interim Leader

    Minneapolis Public Schools recently named Rochelle Cox, who currently serves as the district’s associate superintendent, to serve as interim superintendent for the 2022-2023 school year.

    Since joining the school system in 1997, Cox has served in several leadership positions, including executive director of special education and health services. As associate superintendent, she supports 19 elementary schools and their principals.

    Cox will succeed Ed Graff, who decided not to continue for a third term as leader after his current contract ends in June. Graff has led the 31,598-student school system in Minnesota’s largest city since 2016.