Chiefs for Change Future Chief Dr. Donald E. Fennoy II was unanimously selected today to serve as Superintendent for the School District of Palm Beach County. He has vast experience working to expand equity and excellence for students, including more than 15 years of success as an educator and a business executive. Prior to stepping into his current role in Palm Beach as Chief Operating Officer, Fennoy led the successful turnaround of a failing high school in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District and boosted student achievement in low-performing Fulton County Schools as Senior Area Superintendent. He is a member of the second cohort of Chiefs for Change’s Future Chiefs program, which aims to build a diverse pipeline for the next generation of bold and innovative state and district education leaders.
“Donald is a bold leader with the courage and determination to fight for a world class education for every single child,” Chiefs for Change CEO Mike Magee said. “His participation in the Future Chiefs program helped prepare him for this moment. He is ready on day one. We’re thrilled that the great work Superintendent Avossa started will be sustained and built upon by a very capable leader prepared to take on the challenges ahead.”
The Chiefs for Change “Future Chiefs” program was created to address the lack of practical preparation for the complex job of leading state and large urban school systems. The program also aims to diversify a field that remains disproportionately white and male despite the fact that most teachers are women and that the majority of today’s public school students are students of color. The program identifies some of the most talented, diverse emerging leaders, integrates them into a community of practice with current Chiefs, and gives them a set of experiences and preparation that will enable school systems to choose skilled, ready leaders. As a Future Chief, Fennoy engaged in a number of learning opportunities to prepare him for the Superintendent role, including through regular coaching and by shadowing other district Chiefs.
“I’ve watched Donald grow as a teacher, principal, and school administrator to a well-respected national voice for student equity, principal preparation, and school operations,” said Chiefs for Change member and departing superintendent Robert Avossa. “Under his leadership, I am confident the District will keep its momentum to accomplish the goals of the Strategic Plan. It’s not every day that a Superintendent gets to pass the baton to a professional they first hired as an Assistant Principal. I couldn’t be more proud or excited for Donald.”
As Superintendent of the School District of Palm Beach County, Fennoy will support the 11th largest district in the country with a student enrollment of more than 190,000 students. “I’m proud and humbled to have been selected to lead this school district as we continue our work of expanding opportunity for all students,” Fennoy said. “My own educational experience shows how a great education can change lives, and I aspire to be a champion in every student’s educational journey as they work toward their college and career dreams.”
Chiefs for Change is a nonprofit, bipartisan network of diverse state and district education Chiefs dedicated to preparing all students for today’s world and tomorrow’s through deeply committed leadership. Chiefs for Change advocates for policies and practices that are making a difference today for students, and builds a pipeline of talented, diverse Future Chiefs ready to lead major school systems.