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D-428’s Jim Briscoe accepts superintendent job in Utah

Published: Wednesday, April 30, 2014 11:09 p.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, May 1, 2014 12:08 p.m. CDT
Jim Briscoe, superintendent of DeKalb School District

DeKALB – After he retires in Illinois, DeKalb School District 428 Superintendent Jim Briscoe will head to suburban Salt Lake City to lead Canyons School District.

The Canyons School District board unanimously approved hiring Briscoe as the superintendent for the 33,000-student district Tuesday night. Briscoe has served as the superintendent for the 6,200-student DeKalb District 428 for the past six years.

“DeKalb is a place that’s really become my home, and I think the experiences I had there prepared me for this exciting new challenge,” Briscoe said. “It’s a beautiful community, and I thought it would be a unique and challenging opportunity.”

Briscoe announced last year he would retire from DeKalb because of pension reform in Illinois. District 428 school board members in September chose Assistant Superintendent Doug Moeller to replace Briscoe. Briscoe said his transition will start after DeKalb High School graduation June 7. Briscoe’s Utah appointment will start July 1.

In his new role, Briscoe’s base salary will be $200,000. According to the district, his base salary in DeKalb last school year was $211,910.

The Canyons School District, located in Sandy, Utah, is the state’s newest school district, as well as the first to be formed in nearly a century. Voters approved its formation in 2007 and the district welcomed its first students in fall 2009.

District 428 board President Tracy Williams said Briscoe kept the school board updated throughout the interview process. He wished Briscoe luck in the new position.

“Jim’s strength is his compassion and caring for every student in the district, and I think that will serve him well anywhere he goes,” Williams said.

Briscoe noted similarities between the two districts such as building projects, piloting one-to-one technology programs, and implementing small teacher groups to review student data. Also, input on what Canyons’ community members wanted in their next superintendent seemed to match what he could offer.

“It’s hard to leave the community that you call your home,” Briscoe said. “And I don’t think I would have had this opportunity if it had not been for my time in DeKalb.”

Briscoe will replace the Canyons District’s first superintendent, David Doty, who resigned in spring 2013 to lead a national education reform organization. Ginger Rhode has served as interim superintendent since July and recently announced her intention to retire July 1.

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