The Pueblo City Schools' Board of Education selected Dr. Constance Jones as the new superintendent in a 4-to-1 vote.
Jones is coming to Pueblo from Florida where she is the executive director of school development for the Lee County School District in Fort Myers.
The board's decision comes at a critical time. More than a third of schools in Pueblo are underperforming and fall into what the state calls priority improvement status. If the district doesn't improve student performance by 2016, it risks losing accreditation.
"I personally was looking for somebody who has had experience in taking schools out of the turnaround status into priority improvement and then on to the next level. In Lee County, she's had that experience," said board president Dr. Kathy DeNiro.
Board member Rose Holloway voted against Jones' appointment. "Jones didn't interview well," she said. "She was not very clear at all. She was kind of all over the place so that didn't inspire confidence in me."
Jones holds a B.S. in Elementary Education/Music from Ball State University, an M.Ed in Curriculum & Instruction/Math & Science from University of South Florida, an Ed.S in Educational Leadership/Curriculum & Instruction from University of South Florida and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership/Curriculum & Instruction from University of South Florida.
Jones will replace current superintendent Dr. Maggie Lopez, who is retiring June 30.
The two other finalists the board was considering were Dr. Michelle Johnstone, superintendent of Brush Schools, and Dr. Lynn Seifert, principal at Central High School.