Omaha Public Schools has selected Mark Evans to be its new superintendent. He is currently superintendent of the Andover, Kansas, public schools system.
That district is 1/10th the size of Omaha Public Schools, but Evans spent 20 years with Wichita Public Schools, which is similar to Omaha Public Schools in enrollment and demographics. Omaha's enrollment is around 48,000.
After the 10-0 vote -- two members were absent -- Board President Freddie Gray explained why Evans stood among the three finalists. "The academic achievement growth we’ve seen - the evaluation programs that he talks about with staff – his work with his boards. Those are things we looked at with all of them."
Last Thursday, Evans met with the board, toured some OPS facilities and took questions from the public.
We asked him about some of his educational beliefs.
"Are we doing what we said we were going to do? Is it making a difference when we look at the data? said Evans. "So you take that big picture-- the goals the strategies and you take it down to the building level."
The district will now negotiate a contract with Evans. It's not clear when he will start. The board wants him to be able to work with interim superintendent Virginia Moon to learn the ropes. At the latest, he would start before school starts next fall.
He has one connection to the area -- his wife is from Lincoln.