Although you can quarrel with Tom Boasberg's decision to take a six-month leave as Denver schools superintendent to travel with his family — and we certainly have — the school board did place the district in good hands.
Acting Superintendent Susana Cordova, who was appointed Dec. 1 by the board and takes over this year, is likely to be a steady and competent leader for Denver Public Schools until Boasberg's return on July 1.
Cordova has been a student, teacher, principal and administrator in DPS. Most recently she was chief of schools and chief academic officer under Boasberg.
The district also tied up several thorny issues before Boasberg embarked on his extended vacation. DPS recently reached an agreement with the Denver Classroom Teachers Association over how to distribute bonuses from the ProComp incentive system that is partially based on results from the state's new testing system.
Also, the union and district agreed to extend for another year the master contract agreement which was to expire at the end of August.
The district earlier this year worked out turnaround efforts in southwest Denver, adding new middle school programs at Kepner and Henry middle schools. And last month the board approved policies that will direct when the district intervenes on low-performing schools and established new middle school programs in north Denver.
In announcing his decision to step away for six months, Boasberg said he wouldn't be able to do so without being "fully confident in the DPS team's ability to move full speed ahead in my absence."
The district's policies and mission have been well defined under the Denver Plan. And while it is certain that issues will arise in Boasberg's absence, as they always do, Cordova, who has been with DPS almost her whole career, is a smart pick to guide the giant ship. This quite possibly could be a good tryout for a permanent position sometime in the future.
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