Board Selects Deputy Superintendent Following Final Interviews
The Cincinnati Board of Education today selected Laura Mitchell, currently deputy superintendent and chief academic officer for Cincinnati Public Schools, to become the 27th superintendent of the 35,000-student district, the largest public school system in Southwest Ohio.
Mitchell, a graduate of the School for Creative and Performing Arts, was one of two finalists to emerge as a leading candidate through an extensive national search process shaped in large part by input from local stakeholders. Final interviews of Mitchell and the other finalist, Andre Spencer, Superintendent of Harrison District 2 in Colorado Springs, Colo., were conducted by the Board this morning, after which the Board recessed into executive session.
The Board returned to open session at 2 p.m. and voted to extend an offer to Mitchell, who has led implementation of major district academic improvement strategies including the Elementary Initiative, which raised achievement in the district’s 16 lowest performing elementary schools; and My Tomorrow, a comprehensive college and career readiness initiative.
“I am excited to be selected as the next Superintendent of Cincinnati Public Schools,” Mitchell said. “My highest priority will be to accelerate academic achievement throughout our district and properly prepare our students to compete globally. I intend to work collaboratively with students, parents, staff, business leaders and members of the community to ensure that all of our schools are good schools and that all of our students have opportunities for excellence.”
Board President Ericka Copeland-Dansby praised the caliber of both finalists, who were recruited through a search process that began in late January with development of 13 priority qualities through surveys, open meetings and small-group sessions involving parents, district employees and community representatives.
“We are grateful to our stakeholders for helping us identify such bright, dynamic educational leaders. We also are very appreciative of the role played by Superintendent Mary Ronan over the past nine years in strengthening the position of CPS as a progressive urban district, attracting great candidates to become her successor,” Copeland-Dansby said.
A total of 58 candidates applied for the position, representing a diverse demographic pool including applicants from across the country. Applicants included 14 females and 44 males; 30 white candidates; 21 African-American candidates, three Hispanic candidates and four representing other ethnicities. They came from more than 40 states.
The Board began the search following Ronan’s announcement in November that she would retire at the end of July.