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SLCSD names three superintendent finalists, asks for community input

Timothy Gadson, Wendy Gonzalez and Jharrett Bryantt are the three finalists for the next superintendent of the Salt Lake City School District.

SALT LAKE CITY– After sifting through 33 applications, the Salt Lake City School District Board of Education (SLCSD) has selected three finalists for the district’s new superintendent. The district is also asking for student, parent and community input on who the next SLCSD superintendent will be. 

SLCSD announced Dr. Jharrett Bryantt, Dr. Timothy Gadson and Dr. Wendy González are those being considered Wednesday for the position.

“Our goal was to select candidates who would best represent what our community was looking for,” said SLCSD Board Vice President Nate Salazar. “We feel we’ve done that with these three finalists, and now, we need to ask for community input one more time to make sure we choose the right person to lead the Salt Lake City School District.” 

Each candidate will visit Salt Lake City on Feb. 16, 17 and 18 to learn about the area, students, schools and communities. The three finalists will also meet with stakeholders and participate in a public Board interview. The Board interviews will be live streamed to allow access to members of the community.  

Meet the candidates 

Dr. Jharrett Bryantt

Dr. Jharrett Bryantt (SLCSD)

Bryantt is an executive leader in the Houston Independent School District, which is also the seventh-largest school district in the nation.

In 2016, Bryantt became an assistant superintendent, overseeing college readiness, advanced academics and innovative initiatives for the Houston school district. 

Forbes Magazine also featured the 29-year-old in its 30 under 30 edition for his role in expanding access to postsecondary opportunities for Houston students. 

Bryantt received his doctoral degree in education policy & leadership from the University of Texas at Austin Cooperative Superintendency Program and a bachelor of science degree from Yale University. 

Dr. Timothy Gadson

Dr. Timothy Gadson (SLCSD)

Gadson is the superintendent of high schools with Anoka-Hennepin Schools in Anoka, Minn. 

Prior to being a superintendent, Gadson was an assistant principal and principal at various K-12 schools, including an alternative education in Broward County and Palm Beach County, Fla. Additionally, Gadson was the district director of secondary education for the Palm Beach County School District. 

Gadson also supervised high school operations for the Austin Independent School District in Austin, Texas, and was an associate superintendent with Atlanta Public Schools.

From 2010-2012, Gadson led reform and transformation efforts at several high schools in Milwaukee, Wisc., as chief transformation officer with a private transformation firm. 

He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business economics and secondary education from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University in Tallahassee, Fla., and obtained his master’s and doctor of philosophy degrees from Washington State University in Pullman, Wash. 

Dr. Wendy González

Dr. Wendy Gonzalez (SLCSD)

González is the superintendent of Page County Public Schools in Luray, Va. 

Before becoming a superintendent, González was the director of teaching, learning and accountability in Charles City County, Va. She was also the coordinator of accountability and assessment for Williamsburg-James City County Schools in Williamsburg, Va. 

Prior to working in administrative education, González held many leadership positions with diverse populations as an assistant principal, dean of students and a school improvement coach in Chesterfield County, Va. 

In total, González  has been working in education for 28 years. 

González graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in Spanish from James Madison University. She also got her master’s degree in education and human development in educational leadership and administration, and a doctorate of education degree in educational administration and policy studies from George Washington University. 

A community decision for the new SLCSD superintendent 

SLCSD is prioritizing community discourse when it comes to selecting the next person to lead the district. There will be three different forums for people to participate in and submit questions to the three candidates.

A community forum will take place nightly from 7 to 7:50 p.m. on Feb 16, 17 and 18. The forum will be streamed via Zoom webinar. Participants who wish to ask questions will be able to do so during the forum via the webinar Q&A function. 

A parent forum will take place nightly from 8 to 8:50 p.m. on Feb 16,17 and 18. Parents in the district will receive instructions via email on how to participate. Parents can also submit questions to the candidates that will be vetted by Ray and Associates, the consultants hired by the Board to manage the search for a new superintendent.  

The third forum is for students. SLCSD students will have the opportunity to submit questions to the candidates that will also be vetted by the same company. The three finalists will be asked the questions when they visit East High School, Highland High School and West High School next week. 

All three candidates will also meet with student leaders during their visits. The conversations between the candidates and student leaders will be made public on YouTube so all students can watch at their convenience. 

For more information on how to participate and stream conversations, visit here.