Superintendent search 2020
Documenting the Governing Board search for the next superintendent

Board names Dr. Andi Fourlis next superintendent of schools

At the April 14 meeting, the Mesa Public Schools Governing Board voted to enter into contract negotiations with Dr. Andi Fourlis as the next superintendent of schools.

Appointing a superintendent is one of the primary jobs of a Governing Board. The board worked diligently on this process for months and considered community feedback from surveys, stakeholder meetings and focus groups.

"Dr. Fourlis' exemplary work ethic, growth mindset, and unwavering commitment to students, staff and family will serve the district well," says Mrs. Elaine Miner, Governing Board president. "She will build upon the great things happening in our district. We know she will lead with passion, purpose and transparency."

Fourlis currently serves as the deputy superintendent of Mesa Public Schools. Previously, she served as the district's assistant superintendent of teaching & learning. Fourlis started her career in 1992 as a teacher in the Washington Elementary School District in Phoenix. She spent 19 years in the Scottsdale Unified School District, where she served as a teacher, director, executive director and assistant superintendent. She also served as the Chief Learning Officer at the Arizona Science Center. Fourlis has a bachelor's degree in elementary education with a focus on English as a Second Language from Arizona State University, a master's degree from Northern Arizona University and a doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies from ASU. She is a native of Arizona who began her schooling at Lowell Elementary in Mesa.

"I am honored and humbled to be chosen by the Governing Board to lead the greatest public school district in Arizona," Fourlis says. "Mesa Public Schools is a student-centered, future-focused district. We will continue to harness the traditions and successes of the past to lead us into a bright future. I believe in each of us; and I believe in all of us - together."

Pending contract negotiations, Fourlis will assume her duties as superintendent July 1.

Mesa Public Schools to host Meet the Finalists livestream event April 6

Join Mesa Public Schools for a live Q&A with the candidates for superintendent of schools. The event, hosted by Mesa Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Sally Harrison, will stream at mpsaz.org/live at 6:30 p.m., Monday, April 6, 2020.

At a special board meeting March 27, 2020, the Mesa Public Schools Governing Board selected three finalists for the position of superintendent:

  • Dr. Andi Fourlis, current deputy superintendent at Mesa Public Schools
  • Dr. Heath Morrison, current president of the School group at McGraw-Hill Education
  • Mrs. Holly Williams, current executive director of master planning & bond projects at Mesa Public Schools

The board will conduct interviews with the finalists April 7 and intends to announce the superintendent appointment at the April 14 Governing Board meeting. Finalist biographies are available at mpsaz.org.

Governing Board announces superintendent finalists

At a special board meeting March 27, 2020, the Mesa Public Schools Governing Board selected three finalists for the position of superintendent of schools.

The finalists are:

  • Dr. Andi Fourlis, current deputy superintendent at Mesa Public Schools
  • Dr. Heath Morrison, current president of the School group at McGraw-Hill Education
  • Mrs. Holly Williams, current executive director of master planning & bond projects at Mesa Public Schools

The district will host a live-streamed Q&A session with the individual finalists April 6. The board will conduct interviews with the finalists April 7 and intends to announce the superintendent appointment at the April 14 Governing Board meeting.

Finalist biographies will be posted by April 1 on the district's website, www.mpsaz.org.

Meet the finalists

andi fourlisDr. Andi Fourlis

Andi Fourlis is currently the deputy superintendent in Mesa Public Schools. Her career began in 1992 as a teacher in the Washington Elementary School District in Phoenix. She joined the Scottsdale Unified School District in 1996 where she spent 19 years as a teacher, director, executive director and assistant superintendent. In 2015 she joined the Arizona Science Center as the Chief Learning Officer. In 2017 she joined Mesa Public Schools as the assistant superintendent of teaching and learning. Throughout her 24-year career she has used strategic thinking to ignite meaningful learning for students and adults.  Andi's education includes a bachelor's degree in elementary education with a focus on English as a Second Language from Arizona State University, a Master's degree from Northern Arizona University, and a doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies from Arizona State University. It was during her doctoral work that she truly learned the power of public education and its impact on social justice and social cohesion. She is a native of Arizona and began her schooling in Mesa Public Schools. She and her husband, Ted, have been married for 28 years and they have three amazing daughters ages 18, 20 and 24.

 

heath morrisonDr. Heath Morrison

Heath Morrison is President of McGraw-Hill School group. At each stage of his career, Heath has been described as "a teacher on special assignment." Beginning as a social studies teacher in Virginia and Maryland, he soon became both a middle and high school principal as well as a Community Superintendent. Next, he served as Superintendent of Washoe County School District in Reno, NV, and, most recently, as Superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in Charlotte, NC. Under his leadership, with a strategic concentration on equity, both school districts saw rapid gains in state test scores, graduation rates, and participation and performance in AP and IB courses across all demographics. He has led efforts to promote personalized plans of instruction for every student and to utilize technologies to inspire innovative teaching and learning. In all his positions, he has focused on operational excellence, ensuring resources flow to classrooms, supporting teachers and children. In 2012, he became AASA's National Superintendent of the Year. Heath graduated with a bachelor's degree in Government from the College of William and Mary. He holds a M.Ed. in Educational Administration and a Ph.D. in Educational Policy and Planning from the University of Maryland. Family is foremost to him. 

 

holly williamsMrs. Holly Williams

Holly Williams is currently the Executive Director of Master Planning and Bond Projects. She began her career as a high school English teacher and Dean of Students in Chandler. Mrs. Williams has been a part of Mesa Public Schools for 20 years and has served as an Assistant Principal and High School Principal before transitioning to a district-level position. As a district-level leader, Mrs. Williams has been the Assistant Superintendent for Special Education, an Area Assistant Superintendent (East Area K-12 and High Schools) and the Chief of Staff to the Superintendent. Mrs. Williams graduated with a bachelor's degree in English from Arizona State University and a master's degree in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University and is currently in the doctoral program at Northern Arizona University. Holly and her husband, Ron, have two daughters who have graduated from Mesa Public Schools and now attend the University of Arizona and Mesa Community College.

Governing Board announces superintendent search

The Mesa Public Schools Governing Board has retained McPherson & Jacobson, LLC, to assist in their search for a new superintendent.

The board seeks input from community stakeholders as an important element of the search process. Parents, staff, students and members of the community are encouraged to participate in an anonymous online survey to share their thoughts about the state of the district and characteristics they would like to see in the next superintendent.

"Listening to and receiving input from our community is essential as we move forward with the search for our new Mesa Public Schools superintendent," says Governing Board President Elaine Miner. "The board prioritizes finding a leader who is student centered, collaborative, inclusive, community focused and committed to continuing the crucial work of implementing our robust strategic and master facilities plans. We value our partnerships with our community and encourage all stakeholders to make their voices heard."

The public survey is open can be found at http://bit.ly/MPSsearch2020. Learn more about the superintendent search at mpsaz.org.

Results of the community survey

Presentation to the Governing Board
February 25, 2020

Search timeline
  • Feb. 10 — applications open
  • Feb. 19 — community survey deadline
  • Feb. 24-28 — staff, student, parent and community feedback meetings
  • March 12 — applications close
  • March 27 — board selects finalist candidates
  • April 6 — Meet the Candidates livestream
  • April 7 — board interviews finalists; focus groups with community stakeholders
  • April 14 — appointment of new superintendent to be announced at Governing Board meeting