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Six Candidates to Interview for Superintendent

Six Candidates to Interview for Kalamazoo Public Schools Superintendent

The Kalamazoo Public Schools Board of Education has selected six candidates to interview in its search for a new superintendent.

The board released the names of the six semifinalists today: 

  • Johnny Edwards, assistant superintendent of operations for the Portage Public Schools in Michigan

  • Stephanie Jones, chief officer for the Office of Diverse Learner Supports and Services with Chicago Public Schools

  • Thomas D. Rogers, assistant superintendent for IZone 2.0/Priority Schools for the district office of Shelby County Schools in Tennessee

  • Darrin Slade, deputy superintendent of the Hazelwood Public School District, Missouri

  • Marcey Sorensen, chief academic officer in Fort Worth Independent School District, Texas

  • Ty Weeks, superintendent of Schools for Dearborn Heights School District No. 7, Michigan

The board will interview candidates via Zoom on April 24 and 27 during special board meetings beginning at 6 p.m. in the KPS Administration Building, 1220 Howard St. The meetings are open to the public and will be live streamed on Public Media Network on the Live TV Channel PMN 5:

“The large number of applicants and the quality of the applications reflect the outstanding reputation of Kalamazoo Public School,” said KPS Board President TiAnna Harrison. “We are thankful for the positive response to our stakeholder input sessions and community survey which were used to carefully create the characteristics we were seeking in our new superintendent.” 

The board met with representatives from the search firm of Ray & Associates on Wednesday to finalize interview questions and procedures for the superintendent search. KPS board members reviewed the 37 applications before selecting six candidates to interview in the next phase of the superintendent search. The second round of interviews is tentatively scheduled for 6 p.m. May 8 at the KPS Administration Building.  

Monday, April 24:

6 p.m. – Thomas D. Rogers

7 p.m. – Marcey Sorensen

8 p.m. – Ty Weeks

Thursday, April 27:

6 p.m. – Johnny Edwards

7 p.m. – Darrin Slade

8 p.m. – Stephanie Jones

Johnny Edwards is the assistant superintendent of operations for Portage Public Schools, and oversees the non-instructional departments for the district. He is a veteran educator with more than 20 years of experience in K-12 schools in Michigan. Edwards is currently leading Portage schools’ $175 million bond project to construct new elementary schools. He is a former middle school math teacher, basketball coach, and athletic director, and served 13 years in KPS as principal of Loy Norrix High School and the director of secondary education. He is a dual graduate of Michigan State University and is pursuing his doctorate at Western Michigan University. 

Dr. Stephanie Jones is the chief officer for the Office of Diverse Learner Supports and Services for Chicago Public Schools, where she provides strategic direction to district leaders, administrators, and staff to ensure high quality, grade-level instruction and equitable services for students. She began her career as a special education teacher with CPS and served as director of special services for an Illinois school district. She is a data-driven leader with knowledge of academic reform strategies. She holds a bachelor’s in psychology, a master’s in special education, and a doctorate in leadership in educational administration from Capella University. 

Dr. Thomas D. Rogers is assistant superintendent for IZone 2.0/Priority Schools for the district office of Shelby County Schools in Tennessee, where he coaches and supervises principal supervisors, content managers, and specialized advisors in a portfolio of assigned schools. He has worked in public education for 20 years, including as a teacher and principal. He earned a master’s in educational leadership from Christian Brothers University, and a doctorate in education from Union University. He is in the 2022-23 cohort of the Broad Fellowship for Public Education Leadership at Yale University. 

Dr. Darrin Slade is the deputy superintendent of the Hazelwood Public School District in Missouri. He previously served as the assistant superintendent of Instructional Leadership for Kansas City Public Schools, where he supervised principals, instructional programming, school climate and strategic planning. He has 16 years of experience as an elementary, middle, and high school principal for the District of Columbia Public Schools. He has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Towson University, a master’s degree in teaching from Johns Hopkins University, and a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Maryland. 

Dr. Marcey Sorenson is the chief academic officer for Fort Worth Independent School District in Texas. She previously served as the deputy chief of secondary schools and executive director of curriculum and instruction in Madison, Wisconsin. She was a high school principal and teacher in Chicago Public Schools for 20 years. She has dedicated her career to closing achievement and opportunity gaps to ensure all students have access to high quality programs. She has a bachelor’s degree from Northern Illinois University, a master’s from Northeastern Illinois University and a doctorate from the University of Illinois at Chicago. 

Dr. Ty Weeks is superintendent of schools for Dearborn Heights School District No. 7. A Detroit native, he has worked as a teacher, advocate mentor, professor, principal, Title IX compliance coordinator, and program developer for youth in the tri-county metropolitan Detroit area for two decades. He is a member of the Michigan Association of School Administrators and the American Association of School Administrators. He earned a bachelor’s in secondary education, master’s in K-12 administration, and doctorate in educational studies all from Eastern Michigan University, which also awarded him an honorary doctorate in public service in 2022. 

Visit the KPS Superintendent Search Page.