Please check this website and our social media channels for updates on additional sessions.
The Board of Public Education for the City of Savannah and the County of Chatham will utilize the professional services of a search firm to advertise, recruit, and facilitate the search process. During the month February 2023, the school system advertised a solicitation for search firm candidates through a Request for Proposal (RFP) process. The Board will select the most qualified firm based on the recommendation of the review committee and the requirements of Board policy for the award of contract. The firm will be provided information from the community feedback sessions to assist in identifying the top candidates.
At a Special Called Meeting of the Board on May 1, 2023, an update on the Superintendent Search was presented to the Board. Information was shared by BWP & Associates, as well as McMillan & Associates. Follow the links below to view their presentations.
The Savannah-Chatham County Board of Public Education will hold a Special Called Board Meeting on Monday, May 8 and Tuesday, May 9 for the purpose of moving into Executive Session.
BWP & Associates, an independent search firm, was selected to assist the Board in the Superintendent search process and completed a month long application phase that resulted in the receipt of 49 completed applications. During an announced meeting of the Board that took place on May 1, 2023, application materials were reviewed to narrow the field of candidates for upcoming in-person interviews.
Over the coming weeks, the Board will meet with invited candidates and will conduct interviews in Executive Session. As these meetings pertain to personnel matters, they will be closed to the public. Two meetings will be held during the week of May 8, 2023, on the schedule listed below.
The meetings will take place at the Hyatt Regency, 2 West Bay Street, Savannah. The Board will open the meeting in public session before moving into closed executive matters.
Special Called Meetings - May 22, 24, & 25, 2023
BOARD OF EDUCATION ANNOUNCES SPECIAL CALLED MEETINGS DURING THE WEEK OF MAY 22, 2023
The Savannah-Chatham County Board of Public Education will hold a Special Called Board Meeting on Monday, May 22, Wednesday, May 24, and Thursday, May 25, 2023 for the purpose of moving into Executive Session.
The Board continues the Superintendent search process with candidate interviews during the week of May 22, 2023. As these meetings pertain to personnel matters, they will be closed to the public. The meetings will take place between SCCPSS Graduation Ceremonies at the EnMarket Arena. The Board will open the meeting in public session before moving into closed executive matters.
There are no other matters included on the Special Called meeting agendas and the Board does not intend to take any further action after moving into Executive Session. The meetings will be closed when the Executive Session is adjourned.
BWP & Associates, an independent search firm, was selected to assist the Board with the Superintendent search process and completed a month long application phase that resulted in the receipt of 49 completed applications.
RECAP – SPECIAL CALLED MEETINGS:
WHAT: Board of Public Education Special Called Meeting
WHEN: Monday, May 22 at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. / Wednesday, May 24 at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
Thursday, May 25 at 10:30am
WHERE: EnMarket Arena, 620 Stiles Ave., Savannah 31415 – Main Entrance Area (Foyer)
School Board to Announce Finalist for Next Superintendent of the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System
With the upcoming retirement of Superintendent Dr. Ann Levett, the Board of Education contracted with BWP & Associates to conduct a nationwide search for potential candidates for the job. Close to sixty applicants showed interest in the position that resulted in forty-nine completed applications.
On Wednesday, May 31, 2023, the Board will hold a press conference to announce the finalist for Superintendent of Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools.
This announcement follows the completion of two rounds of interviews over the past month with interested parties. Once the finalist is announced, in no sooner than 14 days the School Board shall convene to vote in a public meeting on the Superintendent selection. The meeting date will be announced and posted to the school district's website at SCCPSS.com.
WHAT: Press Conference to Announce Finalist for Superintendent of Schools
WHEN: Wednesday, May 31, 2023 – 12:00pm
WHERE: Board of Education Central Office, 208 Bull Street, Savannah
(Press Conference will take place on the front steps.)
School Board Announces Dr. Denise Watts as Finalist for Next Superintendent of the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System
(Savannah, GA – May 31, 2023) The Savannah-Chatham County Board of Public Education is pleased to announce Dr. Denise Watts as the sole finalist for the role of Superintendent. Dr. Watts has a track record of improving the quality of education for all students and was unanimously identified as the sole finalist by the School Board after a national search that resulted in 49 completed applications and multiple interviews. The Board is confident that Dr. Watts is the right leader to build upon and accelerate the progress made under retiring Superintendent Dr. Ann Levett. The Board will meet formally to discuss the hiring of Dr. Watts at a Board meeting later in June. The meeting date will be announced and posted online at the District's website at www.sccpss.com.
Dr. Watts has been an exemplary and successful leader from the beginning of her career. As a principal in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District, she led a high performing school to meaningful growth in its already high-achieving academic performance and was later named the 2008 National Association of Secondary School Principals North Carolina Principal of the Year for her efforts. She was then strategically staffed to lead turnaround efforts at one of the lowest performing schools in the state, which she ultimately led to becoming one of the most improved. After moving into district leadership positions, she worked with multiple schools and forged community partnerships to significantly improve academic performance and graduation rates while also reducing discipline, improving culture, and enhancing efforts to recruit, develop and retain teachers and leaders.
Dr. Watts was then recruited to the University of Virginia, Partnership for Leaders in Education where, as Chief of District Support, she worked with school districts across the nation to design and execute strategies for comprehensive school and system-wide improvements. This experience provided invaluable insight into data analysis, strategic planning, and execution of initiatives that truly impact learning and culture across a wide range of schools and districts.
The Houston Independent School District (194,000 students; 247 schools) recognized Dr. Watts' effectiveness by tapping her to serve as its Chief of Schools, a challenge she accepted even though the State of Texas had already begun proceedings to initiate a takeover of the school system. Within her first year she helped reduce the number of low-rated schools from 48 in 2021 to 11 in 2022 and implemented systems and conditions that fostered improvements across all schools in the district.
Dr. Watts has consistently used a data-driven approach to increase student achievement while also focusing on building effective relationships with students, staff, peers, and the community. Her passion for ensuring that all students are successful and can lead choice-filled lives, regardless of their circumstances, while also ensuring that teachers and staff have the support they need, aligns with the School Board's vision to ensure that all students are prepared to be successful and productive citizens and mission to ignite and foster lifelong learning at the highest levels for all. We look forward to Dr. Watts joining us this summer and are confident that the future is bright for the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System.
Information related to the selected candidate will be made available pursuant to the requirements of the Georgia Open Records Act should they be requested. In no sooner than 14 days the School Board shall convene to vote in a public meeting on the superintendent selection. The meeting date will be announced and posted to the school district's website at www.sccpss.com.
Dr. Denise Watts Bio