Seattle Public Schools board approves contract for interim superintendent

SEATTLE — The Seattle Public Schools board on Wednesday approved the contract for Dr. Brent Jones to serve as interim superintendent until June 30.

Jones is expected to start no later than July 1.

This comes after outgoing Superintendent Denise Juneau announced last month that she will not seek a contract extension and will leave the district in June 2021.

Juneau had released this statement that indicated the school board must “choose a superintendent with whom they can co-lead and move forward together.”

Her announcement also came after the NAACP and other community leaders called on SPS to terminate her contract in October.

The group said during her time as superintendent, Juneau had encouraged racism and sexism throughout the district. Juneau was surprised by the complaints because she was so committed to advancing racial equity.

As for the board’s approval of Jones, President Chandra Hampson said, “This is a great outcome for SPS students and families. The selection of Dr. Jones brings needed stability and connectivity to Seattle Public Schools during this time of uncertainty and transition.”

“He is an experienced district leader with a proven track record supporting students, community and staff of color, while striving for overall operational excellence. It is a most critical set of skills at this difficult time,” Hampson added.

Jones is returning to the district, as he had served as the chief officer of equity, partnerships and engagement until taking a position in 2019 with King County Metro.

“I want to thank the Seattle School Board for this opportunity to serve in this capacity and I look forward to working in deep partnership with families and staff to create the conditions for students to thrive – no matter the circumstances,” said Jones.