Board of Education Votes to Update Director Districts and Restore Superintendent Leadership Model
The School District 49 Board of Education made two key decisions about the direction of D49 during the Wednesday, February 22 meeting.
The BoE voted to update director district precincts. Doing so satisfies D49’s statutory obligation to establish districts that are compact, congruent, and as equivalent in population as possible. The board considered four proposed options, listened to stakeholder feedback, and voted (3-2) in favor of a proposal that brings D49 into compliance with state statute and is as nearly equal in population as possible, based upon the most recent federal census.
As another outcome of updating its director districts, board directors Rick Van Wieren and Ivy Liu are excluded from running for another term this November, because they now live in the same district with another board member.
Director districts, 2, 3, and 5 will be open for the November 2023 election. (Current BoE president, John Graham, DD3, is term limited and Lori Thompson will represent the newly configured DD4.)
If you live in one of those districts (see the map) and have any interest in running for the school board, please contact Lanette DePaul at 719-495-1128 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The BoE executive assistant is in the process of submitting the updated director district model to the Department of Local Affairs and El Paso County Clerk and Recorder’s Office.
The second key decision from the meeting, the BoE will supervise a superintendent in D49 for the first time in 13 years.
In a separate, unanimous vote Wednesday, the BoE decided to go forward with a single superintendent model, replacing the chief-officer leadership configuration that was in place from 2011-2022. The change will go into effect for the 2023-2024 school year.
The board’s vote followed an in-depth research process initiated in the fall of 2022. The members of the BoE tapped retired Air Force Gen. Jack Briggs to conduct the study to inform the district’s direction following the departure of D49’s chief business and operations officers at the start of SY 22-23. Mr. Briggs briefed the BoE during the Feb. 11 annual planning summit, sharing the pros and cons of multiple leadership models based on rigorous interviews with staff and input gathered through stakeholder surveys.
The BoE will soon determine the process of filling the new superintendent position. Until then, Peter Hilts will continue as the chief executive officer.