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Education

MPS Announces New Superintendent

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The Milwaukee School Board has named Dr. Darienne Driver to lead the state's largest district.

Darienne Driver came to MPS in 2012 as the the system's Chief Innovation Officer. Before MPS, Driver was the School District of Philadelphia's Deputy Chief of Empowerment Schools. She began her career as an elementary school teach in Detroit.

Driver was named acting superintendent after Gregory Thornton left Milwaukee for a job in Philadelphia.

Last night, the MPS Board unanimously selected her to lead the district, thus ending what the board said would be a national search to find a permanent replacement for Th0rnton.

Alan Borsuk, Senior Fellow in Law and Public Policy at Marquette University and former education reporter, says he's not surprised by the board members change in strategy.

"I think the more they worked on it, the more they said 'we've got somebody really good at hand here.' There  is certainly no legal obligation to have a national search. Board President Michael Bonds said in a statement, 'we decided the very best candidate was right here,'" Borsuk says.

Borsuk says Driver has impressed many people since she arrived in Milwaukee a couple of years ago.

"She's smart, she's warm, she's genuinely interested in change and conveys a real sense of wanting to make decisions that move things forward," he says.

The public will likely see more of Superintendent Driver in the weeks ahead.

"She has flown extremely much below the radar so far both in her prior role and in the several months as acting superintendent," Borsuk says. "She basically did no comment on major issues. I think as the leader of the system it would be wise for her to get out there and be the face of MPS and really address the good, and the not so good, and what the system really needs."

In a press release, Dr. Driver said that she's "deeply appreciate of the Board's confidence." 

"Working together with the board, administration, schools, students, staff, parents and the community, I truly believe anything is possible," Driver said. "If we stay focused on our core mission of teaching and learning and putting our students needs first, we will change the face of Milwaukee and the lives of our students and their families."

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