The Aurora Public Schools Board of Education is releasing the names of four finalists for the position of Superintendent of Schools. The finalists— Anthony S. Amato, David Barbosa, John Barry and Sonia Diaz—will visit Aurora on Monday, May 22 and Tuesday, May 23 for a community reception, moderated forum and interviews.
Students, parents, staff and community members are invited to meet the finalists on May 22. A candidate reception will be held from 5:30-6:45 p.m. From 7-9:30 p.m., the candidates will introduce themselves and answer questions from board and audience members. Both events will be held at Gateway High School, 1300 S. Sable Blvd. Sign-language and Spanish interpretation will be available. To arrange other language interpretation, please contact Communication Services at 303-344-8060, ext. 28078.
On Tuesday, May 23, select students, parents, staff and community members will interview the finalists.
Proact Search, the consulting firm assisting the APS Board of Education with the superintendent search, has provided the following profiles on each finalist.
MR. ANTHONY S. AMATO was most recently the Superintendent of New Orleans (LA) Public Schools, an urban district serving 63,500 students in 128 schools with a budget in excess of $567 million. Mr. Amato implemented high standards for all students and had to make critical reforms and improvements throughout the district including the creation of a Renaissance District, composed of all district schools in academic crisis, with a goal of transforming them in a unique manner that would take them off of the “academically in crisis” list by 2006. He implemented the use of algebra and science technology programs and saw an increase in the pass rate of algebra students of 12% and an increase in the pass rate of science students of 8%. He also reformed all high schools into smaller learning communities. He designed signature schools at elementary and high school levels, designed to provide parents with educational choices. Mr. Amato implemented a literacy 9th grade curriculum for freshmen below 4th grade reading level. He developed use of the CRISS Program (Creating Independence through Student-owned Strategies); this strategy facilitated reading in the content area in all high school courses. He also established K-8 quarterly assessments for literacy, numeracy and science, 9-12 quarterlies for science, social studies, math and English, which served as a measurement of progress and practice for statewide exams. From 1999-2002, Mr. Amato served as Superintendent of Hartford (CT) Public Schools, where he was responsible for 25,000 students, 3,500 employees and a budget in excess of $220 million. He was Superintendent in the New York City Public Schools - Community School District #6 from 1987-1999, responsible for 30,000 students, 4,500 employees and a budget in excess of $160 million. He served in other positions within the New York City Schools from 1969-1987, including Principal, District Supervisor, Coordinator, Multi-Cultural Education Director and a Teacher.
Mr. Amato has pursued a doctoral program at Columbia University and received a M.Ed. in Bilingual Education, Administration and Supervision from City College of New York in 1977 and a B.S. in Science and Education from the same university in 1969.
DR. DAVID BARBOSA is currently the Superintendent of the Grand Prairie (TX) Independent School District, where he is responsible for 24,000 students, 3,000 employees and a budget in excess of $150 million. He raised academic expectations throughout the district, making reading and literacy a primary focus. Under his leadership, professional development was a top priority. The district provides a comprehensive staff development program to all instructional staff. This program focuses on the need for lifelong learning and retooling for both teachers and administrators. In addition, first and second year teachers receive mentoring from more experienced teachers. This is done through an initiative where learning team coaches are teamed with first and second year teachers. The district participated in the GPISD leadership capacity-building initiative. Dr. Barbosa implemented a dual language program for Spanish and English, established a character education program K-12 and revived the educational foundation. From 1996-1998, he was the Superintendent of Lawton (OK) Independent School District, responsible for 20,000 students, 2,200 employees and a budget of $100 million. He was Superintendent of United Independent School District in Laredo, TX from 1993-1996; a district serving 30,000 students, 3,500 employees and a budget of $125 million. From 1987-1993, Dr. Barbosa served as Superintendent of Los Alamos (NM) Public Schools, where he was responsible for 4,000 students, 800 employees and a budget of $75 million. In 1982-1987, he was Superintendent of Lake Havasu City (AZ) Public Schools, with 3,000 students, 500 employees and a budget of $50 million. He was an Assistant Superintendent in Eagle County (CO) School District from 1979-1981, where he developed a K-12 curriculum guide, redesigned the special education program and reorganized the bilingual/multicultural program. From 1976-1979, he was an Interim Coordinator and Graduate Assistant at the Center for Multicultural Studies at the College of Education, University of Oklahoma. From 1971-1976, he was Coordinator of Human Relations with the Wichita (KS) Public School District, and he was a teacher from 1968-1971 at the Haysville (KS) Public School District.
He received a Ph.D. in General Administration, Bilingual/Multicultural Education from the University of Oklahoma in 1982, a M.Ed. in Student Personnel and Guidance, Educational Administration from Wichita State University in 1972 and a B.A. in Spanish, Sociology and Psychology from Friends University in 1968.
MR. JOHN BARRY is currently Vice-President for Defense and Security for SAP in Washington, D.C, and is responsible for strategic planning, development and implementation of software sales to the public sector globally. He manages ten direct reports and coordinates over 1,000 engineers, salespeople and programmers worldwide. From 1969-2003, Mr. Barry served in the United States Air Force, retiring as a Major General “Two-Star,” and served as Executive Director and Board member of the Columbia Accident Investigation in 2003 and led the independent investigation of the space shuttle accident. He led 120 staff members, 400 engineers and 25,000 researchers with a $326 million budget. From 2002-2003, Mr. Barry became Director of Plans and Programs for the Air Force Material Command unit in Dayton, Ohio. During 2000-2002, he was Director of Strategic Planning for the Air Force, producing a 20-year plan from his base at the Pentagon. From 1998-2000, he commanded Luke Air Force Base in Phoenix (AZ), the largest fighter aircraft-training base in the world. This institution has all the elements of an academic institution: curriculum review and approval, facility selections, million dollar budget challenges, international student opportunities, optimal use of educational technologies, academic policies and strategic direction for the future. During this time, there were 1,400 graduates among the 12 different curricula. From 1996-1998, he was Director of Plans and Programs for Europe, based in Germany and from 1994-1996, he commanded Incirlik Air Force Base in Turkey. During the 1993-1994 year, Mr. Barry was selected as one of three Harvard University Kennedy School of Government National Security Fellows from the Air Force. From 1973-1990, Mr. Barry’s other assignments included being a Squadron Commander in Utah, Chief of Safety in Korea, White House Fellow assigned to NASA, fighter programs at the Pentagon, a student at Armed Force College in Norfolk, an Aide to the Commander at a Texas Base, a Test Pilot in Nevada and a graduate of the Air Force’s “Top Gun” school.
He received a M.A. in Public Administration from Oklahoma University in 1980 and a B.S. in Political Science and International Affairs from the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs in 1973. He was a participant in the Broad Academy for Superintendents in 2004.
DR. SONIA DIAZ was most recently the Deputy Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction for the Miami/Dade (FL) County Public Schools; a district with over 350,000 students, 18,000 professional staff members and a $2.3 billion budget. Dr. Diaz was responsible for providing curriculum leadership and instructional support across academic disciplines to six regional superintendents and 356 schools. From 2000-2004, she was the Superintendent of the Bridgeport (CT) Public Schools where she was responsible for 22,700 students, 2,800 employees and an annual operating budget of $158 million. While serving in this capacity, she initiated the transformation of school governance by establishing school leadership teams comprised of parents, teachers and administrators who met regularly to plan, implement and evaluate initiatives for school improvement. She also provided for schools to manage specific budget areas, including textbooks, substitute teachers, homebound instruction, tutoring and federal and state funded programs. She worked to improve the culture of the schools for learning; including mapping the curriculum and adjusting the scope and sequence of concepts to better meet student needs. From 1997-2000, Dr. Diaz served as Superintendent of Community School District #1 in Lower Manhattan for the New York City Schools; a district serving 8,500 students with an annual budget of $100 million. From 1994-1995, she served as Program Director for the Coalition of Essential Schools at Brown University, where she was responsible for 4,000 students, 35 employees and for overseeing the restructuring of the Providence Public Comprehensive High School, documenting the change process, seeking and acquiring funds for school-based change and strengthening the school/university partnerships. She was the Interim Associate Director at Boston Public Schools from 1993-1994, and in the earlier years of her career, she held positions such as Coordinator of Bilingual Staff Development, Assistant Head Masters, Language Arts Department Head, Principal, Intern to the Superintendent and Humanities Department Head. She began her career as a Teacher in 1973.
Dr. Diaz received an Ed.D. in Administration, Planning and Social Policy from Harvard University in 1996, a M.A. in the same field from Harvard University in 1991, a M.A. in Romance Languages from the University of Pennsylvania in 1974 and a B.A. in Secondary Education and Spanish from Kent State University in 1970.
Quick Facts About APS:
Enrollment as of Oct. 1, 2005: 31,113
49% of our students are second language students
These students speak 91 different languages with 89% of this group being Spanish speakers.
47% of our students receive free and reduced lunch
.86 % are Native American
5.05 % are Asian/Pacific Islander
21.7 % are Black
48.08 % are Hispanic
25.84 are White.
2005-06 Annual Budget: $377 million