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Chief Academic Officer becomes Deputy Superintendent

Change made solely as a part of district’s succession planning

As a rapidly growing district, 27J Schools is making changes to handle the needs and demands of a large school system. The most recent change centers on the district’s organizational structure and governance model that requires a clear line of succession for when or if the superintendent is not able to make essential leadership decisions for the district.

As a result, Dr. Chris Fiedler, superintendent,  announced at the January 25, 2022 Board of Education meeting that Chief Academic Officer Will Pierce will become the district’s deputy superintendent effective Feb. 1, 2022. 

The 27J Board of Education’s executive succession policy requires the superintendent to have a plan outlining who would be delegated the superintendent’s responsibilities and authority if the superintendent is not available due to things like travel, transition in positions or medical issues. Pierce’s title change comes with no changes in his compensation, roles and responsibilities, or job description. 

“27J Schools is so fortunate to have such an extraordinary educational leader in Will Pierce. It makes sense to fulfill our succession planning needs with an experienced district leader who’s already passionately serving, leading, and supporting academic success for every student attending our 27J Schools,” Fiedler said. 

Pierce earned his bachelor's degree from Western State College, where he was a stand-out basketball player and caught the eye of scouts from the NBA. He turned away from thoughts of professional basketball in favor of becoming an educator. He later earned his masters degree from Denver University and recently completed the administrator licensure program at the University of Colorado Denver. 

A 20-year 27J Schools veteran, Pierce was the inaugural principal for two new elementary schools, Pennock and West Ridge. His leadership vision and organizational skills were big reasons why he was tapped to open two different schools. Later, he was promoted to be the district’s director of student achievement and then to chief academic officer. 

“Will Pierce has been successful in every role he’s had in 27J,” Fiedler said. “I have every confidence our students, staff, parents and community will continue to reap the benefits of such a dedicated and successful leader who embodies our four core values of ‘All-In, Believe, Compassion and Integrity’ as we hold true to our mission: ‘Empowering every student today to take control of their future tomorrow.’”

When the change in title was shared with the board of education this week it was noted that this move did not come with any expectation of future promotion as it is solely the board of education’s responsibility to make hiring decisions related to the position of superintendent.

One aspect of 27J that Pierce values so much is the importance the organization places on its people.

“I have been extremely blessed to have been surrounded, pushed, inspired and influenced by so many amazing people,” Pierce said. “The service of and the collaboration with others has humbled me in so many ways as a leader and a learner. 27J is full of professional capital and I hope my leadership can continue to enhance our collective capacity as we work to be the school district our students, families and staff members can believe in most.”