The Bellevue School Board has chosen Ivan Duran, an educator and administrator who spent many years in Colorado schools, to become its next superintendent. He’s known for school-performance turnarounds.

Share story

A veteran educator and administrator who spent most of his career in Colorado schools has been tapped to become Bellevue’s next superintendent.

Ivan Duran, who served as assistant superintendent for elementary education for Denver Public Schools and led the successful turnaround of six low-performing schools, will take over in July.

The Bellevue School Board voted unanimously Monday to offer the top job to Duran.

“We couldn’t be more delighted to have such a qualified and genuine leader join our district,” Bellevue School Board President Christine Chew said in a statement. She said Duran’s passion for equity, his 26 years of experience and his collaborative approach matched the superintendent profile that both the community and the board were looking for.

Most Read Stories

Save over 90% on select subscriptions.

The district will finalize an employment contract and provide an update at its next board meeting, March 21. The position will pay in the range of $280,000.

Duran is now a deputy superintendent for the Dallas Independent School District, where he is responsible for all academic programs including teaching and learning, special education, early learning and early college. He’s been in Dallas for one year.

Dallas Superintendent Michael Hinojosa said he met Duran at a superintendent academy for Latino administrators.

“While I am disappointed that he didn’t stay longer, I’m extremely proud of him because that’s what we were doing, training future superintendents,” Hinojosa told The Dallas Morning News on Tuesday.

Duran was one of three finalists who visited Bellevue last week for a series of meetings with the community and school staff. The other two finalists were Joel Boyd, former superintendent of Santa Fe, New Mexico, schools; and Katrise Perera, former superintendent of the Isle of Wight County Schools in Smithfield, Virginia. All three had experience in large districts with diverse student populations.

While at Denver, Duran focused on early literacy and using data to inform classroom teaching. Denver elementary schools experienced significant increases in student achievement on state assessments under Duran’s leadership.

During his Bellevue visit, Duran cited his work building strong teams of principal supervisors who he said were highly respected by the principals they led. The principals received increased support, resources and feedback from their supervisors and were, in turn, highly rated by their teachers.

The Denver work has been recognized nationally, including by the Wallace Foundation, as a model of improved student and school outcomes.

Duran was criticized while in Denver by Latino parents at one elementary who said their children were forced to eat lunch on the floor as discipline for minor infractions, and some were frustrated that district administrators didn’t fire the principal.