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Movers & Shakers

Joseph Davis named superintendent of Ferguson-Florissant School District

Deborah Gist named the first female superintendent of Tulsa Public Schools in Oklahoma
Joseph Davis is currently the superintendent of Washington County Schools in rural Plymouth, North Carolina.
Joseph Davis is currently the superintendent of Washington County Schools in rural Plymouth, North Carolina.

Joseph Davis was named superintendent of the Ferguson-Florissant School District in Missouri in February. He is currently the superintendent of Washington County Schools in rural Plymouth, North Carolina.

Davis will be the second African-American superintendent in Ferguson-Florissant, which came into the national spotlight after the shooting of teenager Michael Brown. The district is in danger of losing its state accreditation for the next academic year due to low test scores.

Deborah Gist was named the first female superintendent of Tulsa Public Schools in Oklahoma in February. She currently serves as commissioner of education for the state of Rhode Island.

During her tenure, the state’s graduation rate climbed from 76 percent to 80 percent, and the dropout rate declined by five points. She will start the position in Tulsa this summer.

Philip Lanoue, superintendent of the Clarke County School District in Athens, Georgia, received the 2015 AASA National Superintendent of the Year Award in February. Under Lanoue’s leadership, Clarke County was named a Title I Distinguished District for making the most progress in closing the achievement gap among large Georgia districts.

Clarke County has received numerous state recognitions as a model technology district and for having Georgia’s No. 1 career academy. It also received the state’s top award for response to intervention practices.

Jeff Eakins was named superintendent of Hillsborough County Public Schools in Florida in March. He took over as acting superintendent after former superintendent MaryEllen Elia was fired by the school board in February.

Eakins has worked in the district in various roles for the past 25 years, most recently as deputy superintendent. He will become permanent superintendent in July.

Tommy Chang was named superintendent of Boston Public Schools in March in a 5-2 school committee vote. He is currently an instructional superintendent for low-achieving schools in Los Angeles USD.

In Boston, Chang will face challenges including wide achievement gaps among white and minority students, dozens of low-achieving schools, deteriorating buildings, and operating costs that have been rising faster than revenues. He will be the first Asian to lead the school district, and will start the job in July.

San Francisco USD Superintendent Richard Carranza was granted a 27 percent salary increase by the school board in February. His salary as of July 1 will be $310,000, which is in line with other urban and suburban superintendents across the state.

School board members praised Carranza for his dedication and ability to create partnerships with the city’s tech community and philanthropic organizations. He became superintendent in 2012, after serving as deputy superintendent.