The two finalists for the superintendent’s job at Jefferson County Public Schools will visit Louisville next week. The school board selected them today from a field of five semifinalists. They are: Dr. Donna Hargens, Chief Academic Officer for Wake County Public Schools in North Carolina, which has more than 143,000 students; and Dr. Christine Johns-Haines, who’s superintendent of Utica Public Schools in Michigan. It has an enrollment of more than 29,000 students. JCPS board Chairman Steve Imhoff says both candidates have impressive credentials.
“They’re both strong on curriculum and instruction. And that’s the business we’re in is to teach students and instruct them. Both are very strong in that. Both are very personal and good communicators,” he said.
The new superintendent will also have to oversee the revamped JCPS student assignment plans.
Dr. Johns-Haines will visit Louisville Monday and Tuesday and will meet the public Monday evening. Dr. Hargens will be in Louisville next Wednedsay and Thursday and will answer questions from the public Wednesday evening.
Both meetings will be at 7:00pm at Male High School.
The Jefferson County school system has not had a female superintendent in more than a century.
The board also appointed Dr. Freda Merriweather as interim superintendent to serve during the transition to a new leader. Current Superintendent Sheldon Berman leaves his post June 30. Merriweather is retired from JCPS and is on the faculty at the University of Louisville.