DC Mayor Names New Schools Chancellor, Dr. Lewis Ferebee

"Dr. Ferebee is someone with experience leading at all levels of public education," the mayor said

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced Monday that she has named a new head of the city's public school system.

Dr. Lewis Ferebee was appointed the new chancellor of D.C. Public Schools, pending confirmation by the D.C. Council. 

Ferebee, who last served as the head of Indianapolis Public Schools, replaces Dr. Amanda Alexander, the interim chancellor who took over after several high-profile controversies. 

Former chancellor Antwan Wilson resigned in February after he bypassed the highly competitive public school lottery system to get his daughter a coveted seat at a top high school.

Alexander was passed over for the permanent role.

Ferebee, selected after a six-month-long nationwide search, was superintendent of Indianapolis schools starting in 2013. Previously, he held a leadership role in the public schools of Durham, North Carolina.

Bowser said he can meet the needs of the school district. 

"Dr. Ferebee presents with a long record of success focusing on some of the issues that are very critical to DCPS at this time," she said at a news conference Monday afternoon. 

In a press release, Bowser praised his range of experience. 

"Dr. Ferebee is someone with experience leading at all levels of public education — from serving in the classroom and as an elementary and middle school principal to leading a system that serves more than 30,000 students," the mayor said in a statement. "He is a strong leader and educator, and has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to providing all students and families high-quality educational opportunities." 

Ferebee said he could move the school district in the right direction. 

"We're obviously not at a point where we're ready to run a victory lap. But we do have a strong foundation that we can build upon," he said. 

Ferebee does have a D.C. connection: He earned his master's degree at George Washington University.

The first two schools chancellors Bowser appointed, Kaya Henderson and Antwan Wilson, resigned after they were found to have given preferential treatment for enrollment at high-demand schools.

Additionally, an investigation found that 1 in 3 high school graduates in 2017 received diplomas though they did not meet graduation requirements.

Ferebee will earn a base salary of $280,000. He's set to start on Jan. 31. 

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