Academy District 20 Announces Mr. Thomas Gregory as Superintendent
J. Thomas Gregory Named New Superintendent
Last night, during a special meeting, the Academy District 20 Board of Education (BOE) made and accepted a resolution appointing Mr. J. Thomas Gregory as the district's next superintendent. Mr. Gregory will take his new post on July 1, 2019.
"I am honored and humbled to be your selection to serve and lead the greatest school district and organization in Colorado," said Mr. Gregory. "Thank you for the trust and confidence you have vested in me to lead this district into the next decade. I can't wait to get started in this new role!"
In front of the BOE, cabinet members, family and fellow staff, Mr. Gregory added, "Academy District 20 is a special place for students, teachers, staff, parents, administrators and patrons because of its culture, a culture built upon excellence, passion, compassion, respect, trust and collaboration. I am eager to continue working in this special place and in this special community."
Mr. Gregory thanked his family for their love and unconditional support. He also expressed gratitude to the BOE for its steadfast leadership; his teaching, coaching and administrative colleagues for their partnership, mentorship and friendship; and the nearly 50 community members who participated in the site visit in support of his candidacy.
At the end of his comments Mr. Gregory closed with a quote from Lou Gehrig, "Today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth."
The Board of Education will hold a welcome reception for Mr. Gregory on Thursday, June 6, from 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. The event is open for all to attend. Mr. Gregory will also send his first official communication following the Memorial Day weekend.
Initial Announcment of Mr. Thomas Gregory as Superintendent Finalist
The Academy District 20 Board of Education (BOE) today announced Mr. Thomas Gregory as its finalist for the district's next superintendent. Mr. Gregory has served as the district's Deputy Superintendent/Chief Financial Officer since 2016.
"Mr. Gregory has spent most of his 29-year career in education in Academy District 20. He is D20 through and through," said Academy District 20 Board of Education President, Tracey Johnson. "His qualifications and character embody the Leadership Profile developed with the input of more than 1,900 of our stakeholders. Our cabinet, principals, administrators, teachers, staff, students and families will be served well by Mr. Gregory's leadership."
The Academy District 20 Board of Education worked closely with consultants, Hazard, Young, and Attea. Together they reviewed the paperwork of 26 applicants from across the nation and then conducted extensive interviews, tours and site visits.
The Board of Education not only reviewed letters of recommendation and conducted thorough interviews with Mr. Gregory, they also visited with more than 46 individuals with whom Mr. Gregory works, or has worked: superintendents, school board members, principals, direct reports, cabinet peers and leadership team members. All of these activities were done with a careful eye toward ascertaining if Mr. Gregory's skill set matched the characteristics noted in the Leadership Profile.
The feedback gathered provided overwhelming support. Mr. Gregory's diverse background, unique experiences, broad knowledge of public education and Academy District 20 are aligned to the community's wants and needs for the district's next superintendent. Specifically, interviews and feedback indicated Mr. Gregory will: successfully foster a positive climate of mutual trust and respect; recruit, employ and retain effective staff; plan and manage financial health; establish a culture of high expectations; and understand educational research and best practices.
Mr. Gregory was a classroom teacher for 11 years, a school administrator for four years, and is finishing his fourteenth year as a leader for the business operations of the district.
"I was born and raised in Academy District 20 and am thrilled and honored to continue my career in the district and work within the incredible environment and culture that is Academy 20," said Mr. Gregory. "I have a passion for the educational process and thrive on helping others succeed. Our district has provided me numerous opportunities to grow and I am ready to lead our district and believe I am the right person to lead at this time."
Mr. Gregory is excited to build a plan and structures that will serve the district for many years. He is looking forward to working with the many students, teachers, administrators and patrons of the district in a different way than he has in the past. He is also eager to expand his focus, getting back to the instruction, culture and programming of education.
"I am a teacher at heart and am eager for our community to understand that about me," said Mr. Gregory.
After teaching math for a short time in a Corpus Christi Independent School District middle school, Gregory joined the Academy District 20 staff in 1991 as a middle school math teacher at Challenger Middle School. Shortly after, he transferred to Rampart High School (RHS) where he served for 11 years as a math teacher, the math department co-chair, football coach, softball coach, baseball coach and, finally, as the RHS Assistant Principal and Athletic Director for four of those 11 years.
In 2005, Mr. Gregory was named the Executive Director for Business Services, during which time he led changes and revisions to many policies and practices, including labor practices, 403(b) plans, full-day kindergarten tuition-based programs the district still uses today, and facility rentals. In addition, he was the co-facilitator of the Long-Range Capital Facilities Planning Committee in 2006. This work led to recommendations to the superintendent for new school placement and construction, existing school renovations, technology upgrades and deferred maintenance. Mr. Gregory, along with the then CFO and Superintendent, was integral to the passage of a successful mill levy override tax issue in 2008; this resulted in an additional $14 million annually to the school district.
Mr. Gregory became Academy District 20's Chief Financial Officer in 2009 and served in that capacity until 2016 when he was named the Deputy Superintendent/Chief Financial Officer. In these roles, Mr. Gregory identified areas where the budget could be saved/reduced without reducing staffing and programs in schools as the annual funding was reduced by $22 million when the district was hit hard by the recession, this resulted in no reduction to programs - even during the recession years. He also co-facilitated the Growth and Capital Needs Committee and facilitated many presentations to stakeholders that resulted in successful passage of a $230 million-dollar bond measure in 2016.
In partnership with the Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources and a committee of teachers, developed a plan to remove salary matrices/schedules from district policy, resulting in a pay structure that did not include a matrix. Since then this model has resulted in nearly every school district in the Pikes Peak region to call on him for information about how to make this work. Five other school districts have now implemented the same or similar process and have eliminated a matrix style structure of pay.
Mr. Gregory also increased the district's Moody's credit rating from AA3 to AA2, a very strong low-risk rating that invites good interest rates on general obligation bonds and saves tax payers money.
"Deputy Superintendent Tom Gregory has been a force behind our incredible accomplishments during the past few years," said Academy District 20 Superintendent Dr. Mark Hatchell. "I am excited to pass Tom the baton once the process has been finalized by the Board of Education."
Gregory earned his master's degree in Educational Leadership and his Principal Licensure from the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. He earned his bachelor's degree in mathematics and his Secondary School Teacher Licensure from the University of Southern Colorado.
He is a member and actively participates in the Colorado Association of School Executives, Association of School Business Officials Int'l, Colorado Association of School Business Officials, Pikes Peak School Business Officials, National Association of Federally Impacted Schools (NAFIS), Board of Directors (Treasurer) for NAFIS-Federal Lands Impacted Association (FLISA), Pikes Peak Area Education Alliance, National Interscholastic.
Superintendent Search Updates
May 23, 2019
At 7 p.m. the Board of Education will hold a special meeting to finalize the appointment of Superintendent finalist Mr. Thomas Gregory.
May 9, 2019
The Board of Education will announce a finalist for the superintendent position.
April 18, 2019
The Academy District 20 (ASD20) Board of Education fully expects to identify the district's next superintendent prior to Dr. Mark Hatchell's departure on June 30, 2019. The BOE is currently revisiting and reviewing the strong pool of qualified candidates identified during the initial search process
April 15, 2019
The ASD20 BOE announced candidate Dr. Kimberly Hough respectfully withdrew as the finalist for the district's next superintendent.
April 4, 2019
The ASD20 BOE recommended candidate Dr. Kimberly Hough as its finalist for the position of superintendent.
March 11 – 13, 2019
Semi-finalist interviews with ASD20 BOE.
March 5 – 7, 2019
Candidate interviews with BOE: March 5 – 7, 2019.
Feb. 7, 2019
HYA presents Leadership Profile to ASD20 BOE.
Jan. 28 – 31, 2019
Staff and community member focus groups facilitated by HYA.
Jan. 10 – 31, 2019
Community-wide survey to develop a Superintendent Leadership Profile.
Superintendent Search Background
Superintendent Dr. Mark Hatchell announced his retirement in October 2018 and the ASD20 BOE is currently conducting a search for the district's ninth superintendent.
The BOE started planning the superintendent search during the late fall of 2018 and contracted the services of Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates (HYA), a search firm specializing in assisting boards with the identification and selection of candidates.
Staff and Community Input
To create a comprehensive Superintendent Leadership Profile that identifies the qualities and characteristics desired for the district's next superintendent, HYA held numerous interviews, focus groups and forums for district staff, families and community members.
Staff and Community Input Findings
- Leadership Profile Report (PDF, PowerPoint)
- Desired Superintendent Characteristics (PDF)
- Online Survey Results (PDF)
Fees associated with an executive search of this magnitude will cost approximately $45,000, not including direct expenses.