Douglas County School Board names new interim superintendent finalist

Executive Director of Schools Corey Wise to undergo 14-day vetting period


The Douglas County School Board has now selected Executive Director of Schools Corey Wise as the sole finalist for interim superintendent.

Wise will undergo 14 days of vetting as the district draws up an interim superintendent contract. Wise said he was humbled by his selection, promised to strengthen the district moving forward and vowed to make community members' voices heard during his time in the role.

“I love Douglas County. I appreciate and value the people who make up the Douglas County School District,” he said.

Thomas Tucker resigned as superintendent earlier this month, citing personal and family matters. Tucker had been placed on paid administrative leave prior to his resignation following allegations of workplace discrimination, according to the district.

School board directors described Wise as an effective communicator, someone who rolls up his sleeves to get work done and someone who knows the district well. They voted 5-0 to select wise on Sept. 24. Directors Kevin Leung and Christina Ciancio-Schor were absent.

In his 25 years at DCSD, Wise has worked as a student teacher, a contracted teacher, a coach, an assistant principal, a principal and an executive director of schools.

Director Krista Holtzmann said she had been familiar with Wise for roughly 20 years and believed he could help lead the district through the uncertain times of COVID-19.

“I've watched Mr. Wise champion the needs of our students,” Holtzmann said.

Board President David Ray said leading up to the board's Sept. 24 meeting, he had received comments from numerous district staff encouraging the board to select an interim superintendent from within.

“I don't know how much more home grown we can get,” Ray said.

The board had previously selected Air Force officer Damon Brown, also a deputy superintendent for Mapleton Public Schools, as the sole finalist over Wise in a narrow 4-3 vote on Sept. 19. Brown withdrew from consideration soon after.

Ray said on Sept. 24 that Brown withdrew because “he had an alcohol-related incident a year ago” that caused concern among some community members. Public records show Brown was arrested on charges of driving under the influence in July 2019.

A Douglas County Sheriff's Office deputy found him asleep at the wheel, according to court records, and he had a blood alcohol content of .178. He pleaded guilty in October 2019 to driving while ability impaired, a misdemeanor, and a lane-use violation, a traffic infraction.

After the board's Sept. 24 vote, Holtzmann encouraged the community to throw support behind Wise.

“No matter your perspective on the past, I hope you will join me in being future-focused now,” she said.


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