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Jeffco Schools taps Douglas County administrator for chief academic officer

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Jeffco Schools announced Tuesday that Syna Morgan was hired as the district’s new chief academic officer. Morgan most recently worked as the chief system performance officer for the Douglas County School District, a position she has held since 2010.

Morgan was selected to fill the vacancy left by Heather Beck, who was hired as the superintendent of the Lake Oswego School District in Oregon. Morgan’s experience includes four years in her position for DCSD where she supervised research, assessment and accountability.

Morgan’s education experience also includes time as an educational software developer, seven years as a DCSD elementary school teacher in the early 1990s, and work as an educational consultant before working her most recent position in Douglas County. She also worked as a director in the Colorado Department of Education’s school improvement and turnaround department. She holds a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from the University of Nevada-Reno and a bachelor’s degree in education from Fort Lewis College.

In this new Jeffco Schools position, Morgan said she would first focus on learning what types of support systems and professional development teachers need to do their best work. She said she plans to work with teachers to find out what their needs.

“I strongly believe that if we are going to hold teachers to an expectation of results, we have a responsibility to provide the resources and training and support to do the work,” Morgan said. “I honor and value the work of our teachers because the interaction of quality teachers with students is what makes the best educational experience for kids.”

Jeffco Schools Superintendent Daniel McMinimee, who was also a DCSD administrator before joining Jeffco this month, spoke positively about Morgan. “Her knowledge of curriculum, instruction and assessment is exceptional,” he said in a district press release. “She will lead our team forward in a positive and balanced way with a focus on student achievement and growth.”