Chiefly academic

Jeffco hires new chief academic officer

Syna Morgan sitting at her new desk as the district’s new Chief Academic Officer. Photo courtesy of Jeffco Schools
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Jefferson County School District welcomed a new chief academic officer to the executive staff.

Syna Morgan was hired as the district’s new chief academic officer in early July. With 24 years of education experience, Morgan will oversee curriculum, instruction, special education, technology and research within the district, among other duties.

“Her knowledge of curriculum, instruction and assessment is exceptional,” Jeffco Superintendent Dan McMinimee said in a district news release.  “She will lead our team forward in a positive and balanced way with a focus on student achievement and growth.”

Formerly the chief systems performance officer for Douglas County Schools, Morgan came to the position saying she was passionate about the work being done, and the work she could do moving forward in Jeffco.

“It connected to all the aspects of the education system that I hold dear. The appeal to me was that all the connections were there within the department,” she said. “The work that they’re doing is incredibly exciting.”

With 24 years of education experience, as an educator, consultant and administrator, Morgan was looking to further her work in the areas she’s passionate about, and continuing to create and maintain a balanced and effective education system for students.

“To me, with the work I had done in Dougco, I felt I could participate in that process with Jeffco,” Morgan said. “Dougco was in a good place to enhance the work, and it wasn’t contingent on me. In Jeffco, I felt I could be of value to continuing to enhance that quality instruction and quality practices already embedded in the classroom.”

Over the next year, Morgan will focus on building relationships with staff, students and the community to gain knowledge, and maximize the tools and resources students and teachers need in school today.

“I want to focus on what the students need in a real time and immediate way,” she said. “I look forward to being able to work in a way that provides a variety of services to really meet the needs of school services.”

Morgan, a recreation enthusiast and mother of two daughters, replaces Heather Beck, who left Jeffco in June to become the superintendent of the Lake Oswego School District.