(Washington, DC) Today, Mayor Bowser announced that she has chosen Antwan Wilson to lead DC Public Schools (DCPS) as the next Chancellor. Over the past two years, Mayor Bowser has worked to expand learning opportunities for students throughout Washington, DC. Since coming into office, the Bowser Administration has launched extended school year at 11 DCPS schools; opened DC’s only all-boys public high school, Ron Brown College Preparatory High School; fully-funded a travel abroad program for DCPS students; launched the Summer Strong DC initiative; increased access to libraries and books; and expanded access to hands-on learning opportunities. In fiscal year 2017, the Mayor made historic investments in education, investing an additional $220 million in the modernization of schools and increasing the Uniform Per-Student Funding Formula by two percent. With increased enrollment and graduation rates and increased academic achievement, DCPS continues to be the fastest improving urban school district. Mr. Wilson’s experiences make him well-qualified to build on these successes while focusing more attention on closing the District’s opportunity gap.
“In his 20 plus years in education, Antwan Wilson has been a teacher, a principal, an assistant superintendent and a superintendent, and at every level, he has been successful,” said Mayor Bowser. “Not only is he an experienced leader, Mr. Wilson is role model for our students. His success proves that with hard work, they can achieve what they set out to do.”
Bowser continued: “As we welcome Mr. Wilson, I share my utmost appreciation for Interim Chancellor John Davis for his leadership during this period of transition and for his continued commitment to our students. The entire team at DCPS deserves our applause for their critical work. I also want to thank the DCPS Rising Leadership Committee – chaired by Pat McGuire and Gina Adams – for undertaking the most comprehensive engagement process since the start of mayoral control for their guidance during this process.”
Mr. Wilson joins DCPS from Oakland, California, where he is serving as Superintendent of the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD). As Superintendent of OUSD, Mr. Wilson developed a strategic plan focused on effective talent development, accountable school site support and quality school development. In his first year alone, the graduation rate increased by almost four percentage points. Only two other districts in the state of California saw a comparable improvement, and groups that traditionally lagged – African Americans, Latinos, English Language Learners and special needs students – improved at an even higher rate. During his tenure, OUSD has seen improving graduation rates, decreases in out-of-school discipline, a decade-high investment in teacher pay and a newfound fiscal stability.
“My life has been dedicated to students and ensuring they have the resources and support they need to succeed in life,” said Mr. Wilson. “I am honored to join the District’s stellar education team and look forward to working with the community to build on the recent DCPS successes.”
Prior to his role at OUSD, Mr. Wilson spent six years as Assistant Superintendent for Post-Secondary Readiness at Denver Public Schools. Before that, Mr. Wilson was a high school principal in Denver and a middle school principal in Wichita, Kansas, serving diverse communities and tackling challenges similar to those faced by DCPS. Mr. Wilson is a graduate of Nebraska Wesleyan University where he received a bachelor’s degree in history-social science education, with a minor in women’s studies and minority studies. Mr. Wilson also holds an advanced degree in school leadership from Friends University and is a graduate of The Broad Academy class of 2014.
As Chancellor, Mr. Wilson will earn a base salary of $280,000. His nomination will be sent to the Council for confirmation, and he will begin full time on February 1. Mr. Wilson is 44 years old and he and his wife, also a career educator, have been married for 19 years and have three children.