Balsz Narrows Superintendent Candidates to Three Finalists - AZEdNews
Sections    Tuesday March 28th, 2023

Balsz Narrows Superintendent Candidates to Three Finalists

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  • Steve Carr   |  

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The Balsz Elementary School District has selected three finalists for superintendent of the district. The governing board will complete final interviews on Wednesday, December 15. Start date for the new superintendent will be pending finalizing contract negotiations.

“We are pleased to have such a strong group of candidates as finalists to become the next superintendent of Balsz Elementary School District,” said Gail Knight, president of the Balsz Governing Board. “Balsz is a vibrant, active community dedicated to the growth and success of its teachers and students. Our next superintendent will guide our innovative, culturally responsive and community-centered district.”

The three candidates bring a wide-range of leadership in the education and academic fields. Candidate information appears in alphabetical order.

Dr. Erica Avila currently serves as the Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning in the Isaac Elementary School District in Phoenix. She provides leadership for instruction and oversees student services, federal programs, school improvement and professional development. She is also responsible for providing resources to support the improvement of student achievement throughout to ensure coherence and alignment. She is outcomes driven and collaborates with stakeholders to create environments where students and staff can thrive. Dr. Avila earned her Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership and Administration from Arizona State University, and has worked in public education for 18 years.

Dr. George Barnes has served in leadership roles in education for 15 of his 20 years in the profession. He has worked in Arizona as an administrator in schools at all levels and as a professor at the Arizona State University Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College. Recently, as an Assistant Superintendent in St. Louis, Dr. Barnes worked within the community adjacent to Fergusson to help address academic and social opportunity gaps by leading with a mentality of schools being the epicenter of change and working hand in hand with community partners to continue the work that is needed.  Dr. Barnes a Bachelor of Arts in History from Butler University, a Masters’ of Education in School Administration from Indiana University, and a Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership from the University of Phoenix.

Dr. Verenice Gutierrez currently serves as the Director of Educational Equity and Access in the Salt Lake City School District. Her personal experience with K-12 education as a second language learner led her to pursue a career in education. With over two decades in education, Dr. Gutierrez has a proven record for educational leadership in providing strategic direction for academic programs, implementing instructional vision for improving student achievement, and providing every student with equitable access to a high-quality education. Dr. Gutierrez holds a Doctorate from New Mexico State University in Curriculum and Instruction, a Masters’ in Bilingual and Special Education, and a Bachelor of Science in Business Admin both from the University of Texas – El Paso