News Releases

School Board Names Superintendent Finalists

Saturday, March 2nd, 2013

The Des Moines School Board has invited three finalists to be interviewed to become the next Superintendent of Iowa’s largest provider of public education. The three finalists will be in Des Moines for public events and interviews with the Board on Monday through Wednesday.

The three finalists to be the next Superintendent of Des Moines Public Schools are: Thomas Ahart, interim superintendent of Des Moines Public Schools; James Browder, superintendent of the Anchorage School District; Carey Wright, chief academic officer of the District of Columbia Public Schools.

“The superintendent of this school district is an advocate for our students, a leader in our community, and a strong voice for education in Iowa,” said Dick Murphy, chair of the Des Moines School Board. “I am pleased that we have three finalists to consider who can fill this most important position.”

The public will have the opportunity to meet each finalist at public receptions next week. In addition, the School Board’s interviews will be broadcast and open to the public. The schedule for each Superintendent finalist is as follows:

Monday, March 4

  • Finalist: Thomas Ahart
  • Reception: 4:30 – 5:45PM, Des Moines Public Library, 1000 Grand Avenue
  • Interview: 7:00 PM, Central Campus Multi-Purpose Room, 1800 Grand Avenue

Tuesday, March 5

  • Finalist: Carey Wright
  • Reception: 4:30 – 5:45 PM, Des Moines Public Library, 1000 Grand Avenue
  • Interview: 7:00 PM, Central Campus Multi-Purpose Room, 1800 Grand Avenue

Wednesday, March 6

  • Finalist: James Browder
  • Reception: 4:30 – 5:45 PM, Des Moines Public Library, 1000 Grand Avenue
  • Interview: 7:00 PM, Central Campus Multi-Purpose Room, 1800 Grand Avenue

Each interview will be broadcast live on DMPS-TV, which can be viewed on Mediacom channel 85 or 97 or online at Ustream.

A brief biography of each finalist is as follows:

Thomas Ahart
Interim Superintendent
Des Moines Public Schools

Mr. Thomas Ahart is currently the Interim Superintendent with the Des Moines Public Schools in Des Moines, IA. Previously, Mr. Ahart was the Associate Superintendent for Teaching and Learning with the Des Moines Public Schools. Prior to that he served as principal of the Warren G. Harding Middle School. Mr. Ahart earned his Education Specialist (with Superintendent License) Degree from Drake University, Des Moines, IA.

James Browder
Superintendent
Anchorage School District

Dr. James Browder is currently the Superintendent of Schools with the Anchorage School District in Anchorage, AK. Previously, Dr. Browder was the Senior Vice President of Charter Schools & Operations with the Edison State College in Fort Myers, FL. Prior to that he served as Superintendent of the Lee County School District in Fort Myers, FL. Dr. Browder earned his Doctorate Degree from Argosy University (University of Sarasota) in Fort Myers, FL.

Carey Wright
Chief Academic Officer
District of Columbia Public Schools

Dr. Carey Wright is currently the Chief Academic Officer with the District of Columbia Public Schools in Washington, DC. Previously, Dr. Wright was the Deputy Chief for Teaching and Learning with the District of Columbia Public Schools in Washington, DC. Prior to that she served as the Associate Superintendent for Special Education and Student Services for the Montgomery County Public Schools in Rockville, MD. Dr. Wright earned her Doctor of Education Degree from the University of Maryland in College Park, MD.

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