The Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) Board of Education in Ohio has selected Iranetta Wright, a member of the Chiefs for Change Future Chiefs leadership development program, as the district’s next superintendent. As the third-largest school system in the state, CPS serves approximately 36,000 students across 65 schools. The school system has seen a 20 percent increase in student enrollment over the last decade and is the fastest-growing large-city district in Ohio.
Wright currently serves as deputy superintendent for Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD), the largest district in Michigan, with approximately 50,000 students and 7,100 employees. In her role as deputy superintendent, she leads turnaround initiatives for the district’s lowest-performing schools and previously oversaw the district’s leadership academies, which helped to develop future principals and assistant principals.
Prior to joining DPSCD, Wright worked in Duval County Public Schools in Florida. During her almost 25-year tenure, she was a teacher; assistant principal; principal; regional superintendent; and chief of schools. Wright helped 36 of the lowest-performing campuses in the district improve to be removed from state sanctions and avoid school closure. She also played a role in turning around the state’s lowest-performing high school, which improved from an F to a B.
Wright is part of the sixth cohort of the Future Chiefs program, which identifies talented, diverse emerging leaders and integrates them into a community of practice. Future Chiefs receive coaching and mentorship from members of Chiefs for Change and participate in a variety of other learning opportunities. Twenty-five, or 49 percent, of participants in the Future Chiefs program have become chiefs: 80 percent are leaders of color and 48 percent are women. Currently, 16 alumni or members of the Future Chiefs program lead school districts or state education departments. They oversee systems that collectively impact 2.8 million students, 195,000 teachers, and nearly 5,000 schools. In addition, these chiefs oversee more than $33.3 billion in annual budgets.