Four questions with Dr. Jason Glass

Casey Van Divier
cvandivier@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 7/22/20

On July 10, the Board of Education in Kentucky named Jason Glass as its next Commissioner of Education. Glass has been superintendent of Jeffco Public Schools since 2017 and will continue to serve in …

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Four questions with Dr. Jason Glass

Posted

On July 10, the Board of Education in Kentucky named Jason Glass as its next Commissioner of Education.

Glass has been superintendent of Jeffco Public Schools since 2017 and will continue to serve in the position through the beginning of September. He is a Kentucky native and attended the University of Kentucky, where he earned a master’s degree in education, a master’s degree in political science and a bachelor’s degree in political science and history. 

In addition to his time at Jeffco Public Schools, Glass served as superintendent for Colorado’s Eagle County Schools, director of the Department of Education in Iowa and in other positions.

In an interview with Colorado Community Media, Glass reflected on his time as Jeffco’s superintendent and plans for his next role.

What motivated you to take this next step, and what will be your responsibilities and goals in Kentucky?

I was interested in the position because I felt like at this time in my career, I have the experience to serve this position well. As the Commissioner of Education, which is often also referred to as the chief state school officer, my focuses will be similar to what will be going on here. We’ll be focused on safely reopening schools and keeping them open, whether that’s in a remote, in-person or hybrid fashion, and then managing future shifts. I also think there’s significant work to do around anti-racism and shedding a light on racial inequities in schools. And I’ll also be focused on addressing the long-term economic impact of COVID-19 and how that translates into lesser school funding.

What do you feel were some of your biggest contributions as Jeffco’s superintendent?

One is the 2018 bond and mill election that was approved and will make a significant positive impact for staff and students, in terms of student services and compensation for educators. Another has been helping navigate the district to a place where the community more largely values public education and is supportive of educators; and another is the establishment of a long-term vision for learning in Jeffco.

What were some of the biggest challenges the district has faced in your time here?

One of the challenges was lifting the education conversation out of its partisan roots. For most people in Jeffco, they want great schools for the kids, they want them to be well served and they want the staff to be taken care of. But I do think there are groups and individuals who seek control and we have to ask, “do we want to go back to this power struggle?”

The other challenge is the work of how we restart school successfully (in fall 2020). Honestly, I think there are no perfect options; reopening school in-person involves risk and reopening in the remote environment involves risk. Some hybrid of the two gets the benefits and the downsides of each of those. The district has released its restart plan and we’re going to be working on that all the way through the start of school.

What else would you like to share with the Jeffco community?

I’m incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to serve as superintendent. My family has loved living here and I’ve loved working here. I only have gratitude and I’m excited for what’s next.

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