EDUCATION + SCHOOLS

Salt Lake City School District announces new superintendent

May 4, 2023, 5:27 PM | Updated: 6:05 pm

Dr. Elizabeth Grant has been named as the new superintendent for the Salt Lake City School District...

Dr. Elizabeth Grant has been named as the new superintendent for the Salt Lake City School District. She will begin her new role on July 1. Photo credit: Salt Lake City School District.

SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake City School District has a new superintendent.

Dr. Elizabeth Grant was announced as the new head Wednesday by the district’s board of education.

“On behalf of the Board, we are excited to welcome Dr. Grant back to the Salt Lake City School District,” said Board of Education President Nate Salazar in a news release. “Dr. Grant stood out among the applicants. And we’ve been so impressed with her depth of knowledge, the breadth of her experience, and her demonstrated leadership at multiple levels.”

Previously, Grant has served as a chief of staff and senior policy advisor for the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education within the U.S. Department of Education. Most recently, Grant has worked as a professor in the Graduate School of Education at George Washington University.

“I am so excited to be back here in the Salt Lake City School District,” Grant said in a news release. “I am honored to serve as Salt Lake City School District’s Superintendent of Schools. And to work with this Board and with the educators and staff of the district to increase opportunity and achievement for every one of our students.”

Grant is a native of Salt Lake City, having graduated from East High School. She has also served as principal of Lowell Elementary and assistant principal of Edison Elementary School.

She will begin her duties as superintendent on July 1. 

A rocky few years

The announcement comes after a rough few years for the district with four different leaders in three years. 

Most recently, it was led by Dr. Timothy Gadson. Gadson parted ways with the district in September. His year-long tenure started with concerns over morale among administrators. It culminated with a dispute with board members stemming from a trip he took and some of his hires.

Then there were allegations that Gadson was being discriminated against as the district’s first black superintendent.

A legislative audit also recently found the district didn’t manage it’s money well and failed to manage a record drop in enrollment.

Interim superintendent Larry Madden was named as superintendent when Dr. Lexi Cunningham stepped down in January of 2020.

In October of 2020, profanity-laden text messages between board members revealed vitriol between them.

The next year, former board member Joel-Lehi Organista was accused of possessing child pornography.  

All the while, the district faced a global pandemic. Salt Lake City Schools halted in-person instruction impacting many of their students in underserved communities. 

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