DMPS Director Gregory Grylls to Lead Downtown School

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Gregory Grylls will add principal of The Downtown School to his duties as director of elementary schools.

DMPS director of elementary schools Gregory Grylls will lead The Downtown School beginning with the 2023-24 school year. Grylls takes over for Robert Burnett, who departed the district this Spring. Dana Allen will continue to serve as interim principal until June 30, 2023.

“I have always had a special place in my heart for the Downtown School,” Grylls said. “As a leader, I now get the privilege of being the principal of this exemplar school community and look forward to deepening my relationship with families, staff, and students in the years ahead.”

Grylls has a diverse educational background, making him well-suited to expand his duties to include The Downtown School. He started his career at DMPS more than two decades ago at King Elementary as a teacher, literacy coach and dean following a year teaching in Kenya. He also served as dean at Carver Elementary, and school improvement leader at Moulton Elementary and McCombs Middle School. Grylls was the principal at Cowles Montessori for five years before becoming the director of elementary schools in 2017. He was also active in the district’s exchange program with Kofu, Japan, working as an English teacher there in 2005 and serving as the coordinator of the district’s sister city program since 2011.

Grylls earned his bachelor’s degree from Central College and a master’s degree in educational administration from Iowa State University.

“Gregory Grylls is a great fit at The Downtown School, said Tim Schott, DMPS Executive Director of Teaching and Learning.  “He will continue the tradition of providing an equitable education to all students, celebrating joy in learning, and building the schoolwide learning community of relational trust.”

His current role with DMPS involves collaborating with and leading principals at several elementary schools to ensure the district’s educational vision and goals are being implemented and met. He will expand his work to include principal of The Downtown School on July 1, 2023.

The Downtown School teaches project-based learning, focused on key standards-based knowledge, understanding, and skills such as critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, and project management. The school is located in the DMPS Central Campus building located at 1800 Grand Avenue.