Seattle Public Schools are considering bringing back a former administrator as interim superintendent after Superintendent Denise Juneau decided to leave her position this summer.
The Seattle School Board is expected to vote on Wednesday whether to negotiate a deal with Brent Jones, the district’s former head of equity, partnerships and engagement.
If the board approves his proposal, the members of the school council would have to negotiate and vote on Jones’ contract. He is expected to start by July 1 at the latest and to remain in his preliminary role until June 30, 2022.
If he is hired, it will be Jones’ third stint at SPS: he first joined the district in 2008 before moving to the Kent School District in 2010 based on his resume. He returned to SPS in 2014 and left the company in July 2019 to take on an administrative position at King County Metro Transit.
During his final tenure at SPS, Jones served in the superintendent’s cabinet, heading several departments and leading a number of projects and partnerships aimed at improving racial justice. He was a key voice in discussions about ways to improve education for the district’s African American boys.
After three years in the district, Juneau announced on December 8 that she was stepping down from her position. The decision came a day after school board members told her that it was unlikely that she would have enough support to renew her contract.
In a memo on the proposal to hire Jones, board chairman Chandra Hampson said the board’s alternatives are to postpone negotiations until shortly before Juneau’s departure or to begin a community engagement process before a temporary hire is made.
She urged her colleagues to move forward. “Delaying contract negotiations creates the risk that a superintendent will not be ready to take the lead when Superintendent Juneau leaves and is not in the best interests of the district from a tax or human capital perspective,” she wrote.