Jharrett Bryantt, Texas school district executive, chosen as next Anchorage schools superintendent

Published: Apr. 14, 2022 at 11:00 AM AKDT|Updated: Apr. 14, 2022 at 1:49 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Anchorage School District announced its pick for its next superintendent Thursday, choosing Jharrett Bryantt to replace the outgoing Deena Bishop, who is retiring at the end of the academic year.

According to the district, Bryantt has committed to a three-year contract in which he will earn $250,000 a year, the same salary as the outgoing superintendent.

Bryantt is leaving his role as executive officer in the Office of Talent for the Houston Independent School District in Houston, Texas, a district that serves close to 200,000 students over 276 campuses. Previously he worked as an assistant superintendent for the district, and started his career as a high school math teacher.

“We chose Dr. Bryantt because of his transforming vision, his relentless commitment to equitable education and his strong leadership experience with a large school district,” said Anchorage School Board President Margo Bellamy. “He articulates specific and innovative plans to improve the proficiency in reading and math.”

In a virtual news conference Thursday, Bryantt said he was excited to come to Anchorage and get to work on the district’s goal of insuring graduates are ready for their next step, whether it’s college, career or otherwise. He cited the importance of attracting, hiring and retaining good teachers and staff and said he was prepared to meet parents, “where they are at.”

“If there’s one thing that I want parents to know about me is that I’m a champion for those who often feel unheard,” he said. “I want to make sure that all students are elevated, but I also know that, you know, not every parent goes to the board meeting or feels comfortable writing an email, and I want to be the champion for those parents too, and I’m here for you.”

Bryantt beat out two other candidates the Anchorage School District was considering — Frank Hauser, current superintendent of the Sitka School District who also worked in the Anchorage School District for two decades, and Mathew Neal, a superintendent of the Woodland Park School District Re-2, in Woodland Park, Colorado.

Bellamy said the school board was concerned with hiring the most qualified candidate, and that where the candidates were from was “not at the top of my list.”

According to a biography provided by the district, Bryantt holds a Doctor of Education from the University of Texas at Austin and a bachelor’s degree in science from Yale University. Bryantt will begin his new role on July 1.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated with additional information and quotes.

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