Ever since Chancellor Kaya Henderson stepped down last June, DCPS has been on the hunt for someone to take her place. On November 22, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that Antwan Wilson will be taking over as the new chancellor of DCPS. Wilson is stepping down from his position as Superintendent of Oakland School District in California where he worked for 2 years. During his time in Oakland, 4 year graduation rates have increased and student suspension rates have decreased. Wilson also previously worked as a teacher for many years in North Carolina, Kansas and Denver before going on to become a principal and then a superintendent in Denver. According to Principal Kimberly Martin, “DC is a really interesting place and so it seems like a really great next step for (Wilson’s) career.”
The decision of picking the new Chancellor is an important one that can have a large impact on the school district. DCPS has gained a reputation as an improving school district over the past few years under Henderson. In an interview with the Washington Post, Bowser said she chose Wilson because parents have expressed that “they wanted someone who was bold and strategic and open and transparent and always out into the community and focused on closing the achievement gap… we think Antwan really embodies all of those things.”
Jonte Lee, a science teacher at Wilson, was part of the DCPS rising Leadership committee, who worked to help advise Mayor Bowser’s choice of the new chancellor. They looked at feedback from the community in order to draft a summary report of what they were looking for in the new Chancellor to help Bowser pick the perfect candidate.
Overall, Lee is pleased with Bowser’s decision. “Mr. Wilson meets all of the community’s desired qualities that are outlined in the Chancellor Search Community Engagement Report. I am looking forward to Mr. Wilson’s tenure as chancellor of DCPS,” Lee said in an email. Lee believes that Wilson’s experience and motivation will be good for DCPS, “Chancellor select Antwan Wilson will have a positive effect for all DCPS stakeholders.”
Martin is excited to see what comes next. “I can’t wait to meet (Wilson) and see what fresh ideas and perspectives he has to bring to DCPS,” she said. Lee echoed that sentiment, saying he hopes Wilson works to, “continue the successes of DCPS and close the achievement gap.”
PHOTO COURTESY OF OAKLAND UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT YOUTUBE CHANNEL