The Douglas County School District Board of Education has named Erin Kane, the director of a district charter school system school, as DougCo's new interim superintendent.
Board members voted 3-4 on August 2 to name Kane the “sole finalist” for the position after considering one other candidate, former principal of Castle View High School Dr. Jim Calhoun.
In a press release from the district, they accredit the decision to Kane’s “broad range of experiences” as the director of American Academy, along with her time spent in project development and management.
Kane will officially be appointed as interim superintendent when the board reconvenes in two weeks. She is replacing acting superintendent Steve Cook who took over after the resignation of Dr. Elizabeth Fagen in May, who oversaw some controversial initiatives during her time.
Board member Doug Benevento said both candidates were strong.
"I think Erin is going to bring an ability to manage well, I think she's going to bring a fresh perspective to how business is being done and a fresh set of eyes to the issues in front of the district," he said. "She's also hired teachers and she's also been involved in just about every aspect of the district that you can imagine."
In response to the announcement, the Douglas County Federation released a statement noting that Kane has “no teaching experience or experience as a principal” but hopes she will be a strong supporter of public education.
“We are also hopeful that Kane will take the opportunity to offer an independent and unbiased staff and community survey,” said Kallie Leybe, the president of the Douglas County Federation in the press release. "Kane enters at a time when there are many vacancies in the district’s administration. Kane has an opportunity to influence the direction of the district through her personal choices.”
The watchdog non-profit Douglas County Parents says its “disappointed” in the choice. It said in a statement it is “concerned about [Kane's] ability to lead a district of 67,000 students and 7,700 employees” without an education degree or license in teaching or administration from the Colorado Department of Education. The group's preference was Dr. Calhoun, whom they felt had the years of classroom and administrative experience needed to “unify a divided community."