education

McMinimee takes job with charter high school network

Job comes after Jeffco decided to seek new leadership

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Dan McMinimee will be the next superintendent for New America School in Colorado, a public charter high school network that serves primarily immigrant students and their families.

“I am thankful to the Board of NAS – CO for affording me this opportunity,” McMinimee said in an email interview. “I am looking forward to working with a great group of professionals focused on students, their needs and their success. I cannot wait to get started on this new endeavor.”

McMinimee has served for the past three years as superintendent for Jefferson County Public Schools.

“Dan has extensive experience,” said Mary Hanewall, chair of the board at New American School Colorado. “It’s not just with school districts like Jeffco and Douglas County, but he has a background in charter schools, background as a teacher and as a principal. He has been part of the leadership that authorized our Lakewood campus.”

Jeffco Board of Education members voted Jan. 12 to not renew McMinimee's contract, which expires in July, and begin a search for a new superintendent.

McMinimee became superintendent of Jeffco Schools in July 2014, replacing longtime Superintendent Cindy Stevenson. He was selected on a 3-2 vote, with the support of Ken Witt, Julie Williams and John Newkirk. Those three board members, all elected in 2013 on a conservative reform platform, were later the target of a successful recall campaign in 2015, during which McMinimee's hiring became a campaign trail issue.

After five new board of education members were elected, they kept McMinimee on staff for another year.

McMinimee will start in an advisory superintendent capacity with New America School working as necessary on transitional activities in the middle of May as he finalizes his work with Jeffco School District.

“We’re excited to see what Dan can do,” Hanewall said. “We feel that he will be a very good fit with the organization.”

In March, McMinimee stepped down from his position as active superintendent of Jeffco Schools and took on an advisory position.

The New America School network is a system of public charter high schools dedicated to serving a unique population – recent immigrants, their families and children who want to learn or perfect English and earn a high school diploma.

The stated mission of The New America Schools is to empower new immigrants, English-language learners and academically underserved students with the educational tools and support they need to maximize their potential, succeed and live the American dream.

The network has three campuses in the Denver metro area — Thornton, Lakewood and Aurora.

Current New America School Colorado Superintendent Dominic DiFelice, who has held the position since 2006, will retire June 30. McMinimee will officially begin as NAS-Colorado Superintendent July 1.

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