by Chanel Ward
Sole finalist for Denver Public School’s superintendent, Susana Cordova, held a community meeting at North High School – where she graduated from – on December 5th, where over 60 people attended to hear Cordova speak and answer community questions.
Cordova is currently the district’s Deputy Superintendent and is nationally recognized as an educational leader, bringing nearly 30 years of experience to DPS and was formally named the sole finalist for Denver Schools Superintendent by the Board of Directors.
“I’m incredibly dedicated to the Denver Public Schools. I didn’t know I was going to be in at the beginning. I had no idea if I would make it through, I went into that very first interview and came out of it just sort of feeling like oh my gosh, I’ve worked my whole career at DPS, like this could be it, I could be done.”
She continued by saying, “I had no expectation that anything like that was going to happen. When the superintendent said that he was stepping down the very first thing that I said was, I think there needs to be a community process. I think it’s too important of a job for more than 10 years to go by without there being a true process.”
Cordova also spoke about being the sole finalist. “Frankly I had hoped that there would be other finalists because I don’t want to go into the superintendent with people feeling like I was pre-selected – I wasn’t – and never had any conversations in anyway about that,” Cordova said, while explaining that she hoped to be there based on her merits and apologized by saying, “I’m sorry that that’s not how it played out, it certainly isn’t because of anything that I did or I think that the board did.”
Transparency was a topic addressed several times at the meeting and the rebuilding of trust, an idea that Cordova acknowledged was an issue and assured her every intention to restore that trust through honesty.
In addition to the many questions about intention and transparency, the topic of conflict of interest came up in regards to Cordova’s husband doing business with charter schools as a banker, however Cordova stood firmly by her promise to never cross those lines, claiming that she has never done so in the past.
“It really matters to me that I could walk in integrity when it comes to having honest, authentic communication, dialogue and relationship. Does that mean we will always agree? Cordova asked.
“No.” she answered. “It’s a democracy, that’s what’s great about the United States; we don’t have to always agree but I think as a public servant one of the most important things that I would want to do is always be respectful, always be open to listening, and always be receptive to feedback,” Cordova expressed.
The DPS board is expected to vote on December 17, which will decide the appointment of Cordova as DPS Superintendent.
To learn more about Cordova and the Super Search, go to SuperSearch.dpsk12.org.
Chanel Ward is an Independent Reporter for The Weekly Issue/El Semanario.
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