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District fills critical vacant leadership positions (Posted 01/29/16)
Columbia Public Schools will be recommending three individuals to fill critical vacancies within the district to the Board of Education at its next meeting.
Over the past few months, multiple individuals from the district and community have assisted in the search to fill the roles of Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Education, Chief Human Resources Officer, and principal at Alpha Hart Lewis Elementary School.
Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Education
Dr. Kevin Brown has accepted the position of Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Education and will be recommended to the Board of Education at its next meeting. This position has been vacant since January of 2015 and is a critical position in supporting our secondary staff, students, and community.
Dr. Brown is currently the directing principal for Madison Metropolitan School District, Cherokee Heights Middle School, in Madison, Wisconsin. He also teaches sociology at Milwaukee Area Technical College. From 2004-14, Dr. Brown served in various administrative roles, both at the middle school and high school levels, in the Racine Unified School District, Racine, Wisconsin. In 2011, he was awarded Administrator of the Year. Prior to his administrative work, he served as a middle school and high school teacher in the field of social science. Dr. Brown holds a doctoral degree in educational leadership for the advancement of learning and service in superintendence.
Dr. Brown helped change the learning environment of Gilmore Middle School in Racine, Wisconsin, and closed the achievement gap in that school. He is also a noted speaker on a variety of educational and social topics. Notable recent publications include "The State of African-American Students in Education" and "What Academic and Non-Academic Factors Predict College and Career Readiness?"
Chief Human Resources Officer
Brian Kurz will be recommended to the Board of Education as the school district's Chief Human Resources Officer. This position has been vacant since August 2015.
Mr. Kurz is currently completing his third year as the superintendent of the Community Unit School District #4 in Mendon, Illinois. During his tenure, he overhauled professional development practices throughout the district and oversaw the implementation of a new teacher evaluation system. Prior to his work in Mendon, he served at a preK-high school in the El Paso Gridley School District in a variety of roles including director of instruction, principal, assistant principal, and teacher. He began his career in Bloomington, Illinois, as a fourth grade teacher and Title I reading specialist.
For more than three years, Mr. Kurz has also served his regional office of education as a trainer of teacher evaluation systems. He has worked closely with the Illinois State Board of Education to ensure teachers have the proper certifications and students have highly qualified instructors. Moreover, as an Illinois educator, he has experience with teacher collective bargaining and negotiated a contract with teachers in the Community #4 School District. He holds an educational specialist degree.
Alpha Hart Lewis Elementary School Principal
Michelle Flores-Holz will be recommended to be the 2016-17 principal at Alpha Hart Lewis Elementary School.
Tim Majerus, the school's current principal, will be moving to Beulah Ralph Elementary School to lead and open the new school this summer.
Ms. Flores-Holz has more than 12 years of experience in education and eight years of administrative experience. She started her career with Chicago Public Schools at the middle school level teaching a dual language course. She then continued with Chicago Public Schools to serve as associate principal at Oak Terrace Elementary School for three years and principal of South Elementary School for one year. She spent the last two years as principal at Buder Elementary School in St. Louis, Missouri. She holds a master's degree in teaching and another master's degree in administration and supervision.