A top HR leader resigns from Shelby County Schools

Sheila Redick was director of human capital for Shelby County Schools.

One of Shelby County Schools’ top human resources officials has left the district.

As director of human capital, Sheila Redick was responsible for hiring new teachers for Tennessee’s largest district. She resigned several weeks ago to relocate with her family and has not been replaced, a district spokeswoman confirmed Thursday.

Her departure leaves a void as a new school year begins and the system seeks to hire additional teachers. Shelby County Schools, which employs about 5,800 teachers, needed about 100 more teachers when classes began on Aug. 8.

Redick joined the district in 2013 after nearly four years at TNTP, The New Teacher Project. There, she was the director of operations and communications as part of the $90 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to improve teacher effectiveness in Memphis schools.

Lottery scandal

Antwan Wilson, D.C. schools chancellor and former Denver educator, forced to resign

Antwan Wilson visits Ludlow-Taylor Elementary School in Northeast Washington, D.C., February 2, 2018. (Photo by Astrid Riecken for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Antwan Wilson, a former Denver educator who served for the past year as chancellor of the high-profile Washington, D.C. school district, was forced to resign Tuesday.

According to the Washington Post, Wilson skirted Washington, D.C.’s competitive school lottery process so his oldest daughter could transfer to a high-performing high school.

“I wish I could go back and look up and talk to as many people as I could about the challenge I was facing,” Wilson told the Post a day before he resigned. “I failed miserably. It wasn’t a mistake out of anything other than trying to ensure that my daughter’s well-being was taken care of.”

The Post called Wilson’s resignation “a stunningly swift fall for an educator hailed as the heir to the school reform agenda crafted by Michelle Rhee,” and noted that it’s a political blow to the mayor who appointed him chancellor last year.

Mayor Muriel Bowser said Wilson is “an extraordinary educator” who made a mistake, the Post reported. She initially said she remained confident in his ability to run the school system but said she later realized it would be too difficult for him to regain the public’s trust.

Wilson used Washington, D.C.’s lottery system to find schools for his three children, according to the Post. His oldest daughter, a high school sophomore, initially enrolled at a magnet school called Duke Ellington School of the Arts. But after a few weeks, the family wanted to transfer her. Wilson’s wife coordinated with the deputy mayor, and the teen transferred to high-performing Wilson High, which is not the family’s neighborhood school.

The school has a wait list of more than 600 students.

Before taking the top job in Washington, D.C., Wilson served for two and a half years as superintendent of the Oakland, California, school district. Before that, he had a long career in Denver. He was an assistant superintendent in Denver Public Schools for five years, supervising middle, high, and alternative schools. He was also an instructional superintendent supervising school principals, and principal of the now-closed Montbello High School.

Hello Again

Debora Scheffel chosen by acclamation to fill State Board of Ed vacancy

State Board of Education member Debora Scheffel at a campaign event in 2016. (Photo by Nic Garcia/Chalkbeat)

A Republican vacancy committee unanimously selected Debora Scheffel to fill the opening left by Pam Mazanec on the State Board of Education.

Mazanec, a staunch defender of parental rights and school choice who represented the 4th Congressional District, resigned at the end of January to focus on her other obligations. Scheffel previously represented the 6th Congressional District on the board but lost that seat in 2016 to Democrat Rebecca McClellan.

McClellan’s narrow victory gave control of the board to Democrats for the first time in 46 years. Scheffel, who serves as dean of education at Colorado Christian University, moved to Douglas County, and ran unsuccessfully for school board there in 2017.

Scheffel’s selection does not change the balance of power on the state board because she replaces another Republican. Scheffel faced no opposition at the vacancy committee meeting, which took place Saturday in Limon.

Scheffel has said she wants to continue Mazanec’s work on behalf of rural schools and in support of parent and student choice, as well as work to protect student data privacy, a cause she previously championed on the board.

The district takes in all of the eastern Plains, as well as the cities of Longmont, Greeley, and Castle Rock.