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News Release - State Board of Education selects sole finalist for education commissioner finalist

May 30, 2023

State Board of Education selects sole finalist for education commissioner

Former DPS Superintendent Susana Córdova the consensus pick

DENVER -- Today the Colorado State Board of Education voted unanimously to select Susana Córdova as the sole finalist for the position of Commissioner of Education.

The board anticipates formally voting on the appointment of the new commissioner during its next regular meeting on June 14 and 15, following the statutorily required two-week waiting period after a finalist is announced.

Córdova has been a teacher, principal and education leader in Colorado and across the United States for more than 30 years. Currently a superintendent in residence for the educational nonprofit Transcend, she is a former superintendent of Denver Public Schools and also served as deputy superintendent for Dallas Independent School District. Previous roles include deputy superintendent, chief schools officer, chief academic officer and executive director of teaching and learning at DPS. She served as the principal of Remington Elementary School and started her career as a bilingual language arts educator. She has also served as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Denver’s School of Education. She is currently a member of the Board of Trustees at the University of Denver.

"We are excited to announce Ms. Córdova as the sole finalist for this important position," said State Board Chairwoman Rebecca McClellan. "I’m confident Ms. Córdova’s extensive experience working in schools and her caring, student-focused approach to solving the issues facing our education system will lead us toward achieving even greater excellence in Colorado."

Córdova will replace Dr. Katy Anthes, who has been commissioner since 2016. Anthes, who announced her decision to step down in December, has worked for the Colorado Department of Education for 12 years serving in various roles, including chief of staff, interim associate commissioner for achievement and strategy and executive director of educator effectiveness. Anthes has not yet announced her future plans.

"The Department of Education and the state of Colorado has been fortunate to have Dr. Katy Anthes at the helm for the last seven years," McClellan said. "Under Dr. Anthes' leadership, we have worked together to make tremendous strides toward our collective goal of ensuring all students have access to high-quality educational opportunities. While she leaves big shoes to fill, the board is confident Ms. Córdova has the depth of experiences in Colorado’s educational ecosystem and the insight into effective implementation of state policy to also be incredibly successful with this critical role."

The board received 23 applications for the position, which opened in April. To inform their deliberations, the board surveyed CDE staff, superintendents and education stakeholders throughout the state on the qualities needed in the next commissioner.

In compliance with state statute requiring all applications for the commissioner of education position to be kept confidential, the board's review of applications and interviews have been conducted during executive sessions over the last two weeks. Only the board’s vote to select one or more finalists must be done during an open meeting.