Denver7’s Blair Miller reports on another endnote in the long battle to wrest control of Jefferson County Public Schools back from a conservative majority elected in 2013 and ousted in an historic 2015 recall election–the departure of conservative superintendent Dan McMinimee:
Jeffco Public Schools Superintendent Dan McMinimee is out of his job early, as the district announced Thursday he was stepping down immediately.
The district announced in December that his three-year contract would not be renewed, and he was set to be out of a job as of June 30.
But the district said Thursday that McMinimee and the school board agreed to McMinimee’s early ouster.
He will remain with the district through June 30, Jeffco Public Schools Communications Office Diana Wilson said, but will not have day-to-day operations responsibilities.
Wilson said McMinimee will “be available to the board in an advisory capacity and will assist as needed in the transition to a new superintendent.”
Dan McMinimee was hired by the conservative majority Jeffco school board in 2014, a pick that was fraught with controversy–McMinimee was formerly an assistant superintendent at arch-conservative Douglas County Schools, whose right-wing board and perceived anti-teacher bias resulted in an exodus of qualified teachers from the district.
As the battles between the new board and the district’s parents and teachers heated up, McMinimee drew fire for not intervening in the board alleged “bullying” of students who showed up to testify at board meetings, as well as his participation in intra-board intrigue on behalf of the majority.
After the recall election that sent the conservative board majority packing, McMinimee was the career equivalent of a dead man walking. Immediately after the recall election we predicted his swift departure, but the new board made the magnanimous (and fiscally prudent) decision to allow McMinimee to serve out his contract. We suppose it’s even hypothetically possible that he might have lived up to the expectations of the new board and had his contract renewed.
But it didn’t happen, and now McMinimee’s departure marks the final stages of a housecleaning three years in the making.