At the December 10 Board of Education meeting, Cherry Creek Schools Superintendent Mary Chesley announced her intention to retire at the end of the current school year.
“This timeline is what the board and I agreed to in January 2009,” Chesley said. “At that time, I was committed to moving, to the best of my ability, the district’s mission forward while also making decisions and recommendations to fund our mission ‘To inspire every student to think, to learn to achieve, to care.’”
Chesley acknowledged that during the past four years she has worked with:
• a community that has high expectations and great support for its schools,
• every employee group as they have focused their resources, human and budgetary, to improve the education and lives of our students,
• district and classroom leaders who have worked collaboratively and innovatively to prepare our students for the world in which they will live and work,
• and a 50,000 student body that will be the next Greatest Generation.
“I have worked with a Board of Education that leads with integrity and always goes the extra miles and extra hours,” Chesley said. “It is such an honor to have had a career in Cherry Creek. This is not a time to reflect or say good-bye. There is a second half of the year, and I want to finish strong and supportive as the Board of Education begins one of its most important responsibilities; that of selecting the next superintendent for the Cherry Creek School District.”
Chesley assumed the role of superintendent on Jan. 1, 2009. During her tenure as superintendent, 95% of Cherry Creek schools have met the standards for the highest level of accreditation and 5% meet the criteria for the second highest category. No schools fall in the bottom two categories. In addition, students in the Cherry Creek School District continue to show higher than typical growth than their peers statewide on the TCAP (CSAP) and ACT assessments.
“When you applied for your position, you wrote ‘I believe that public education is the best hope for our country and the Cherry Creek School District can be the best example of that hope,’ ” Board President Jennifer Churchfield said. “You have never drifted from that statement and your leadership is the definition of excellence in every way.”
Churchfield also announced that the board plans to interview Assistant Superintendent Harry Bull for the position of superintendent. The board will evaluate Bull’s credentials, skills, abilities, education and experience for the position of superintendent, and then determine the next steps in the process.
Bull currently holds the position of Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources.
“Dr. Bull has demonstrated superior performance in every job he has performed for the Cherry Creek School District including teacher, principal, executive director of high schools and assistant superintendent,” Churchfield said. “I have personally observed Dr. Bull's performance in various roles for the past seven years since my election to the board in 2005. Dr. Bull consistently puts the student first and I look forward to interviewing him for the position of superintendent.”
Bull, who was awarded a doctorate of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Northern Colorado, began his career as a social studies teacher at Aurora Central High School in 1980.
He came to the Cherry Creek School District in 1984 and taught at Overland High School. He also has held the positions of assistant principal at Smoky Hill High School, principal at Grandview High School and executive director of high schools, before assuming his current position in 2010.
Among the honors he has received are Administrator of the Year from the Colorado Press Association, Honor Administrator of the Year from the Colorado Music Educators’ Association, and School Library Journal Administrator of the Year.
The board has not announced a timeline for making a final decision.