Grover to resign as Grand Island school superintendent

Grand Island Public Schools Superintendent Tawana Grover announced Friday that she’s resigning effective Jan. 11, 2023.
Published: Dec. 9, 2022 at 4:15 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 9, 2022 at 6:34 PM CST
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - Grand Island Public Schools Superintendent Tawana Grover announced Friday that she’s resigning effective Jan. 11, 2023.

Grover has been GIPS superintendent since 2016, but the last year has been controversial.

In April, Grover fired former Grand Island mayor Jeremy Jensen as Islander boys soccer coach after Jensen shared content from the Panorama education survey on social media. After that Jensen criticized Grover and the GIPS school board for lack of transparency and for hiding issues he said the district had with teacher satisfaction, recruitment and retention.

Jensen also criticized the Grand Island school board for numerous 9-0 votes.

He then formed the so-called Chaperone political action committee. Three candidates connected to Chaperone ran against incumbents and won seats on the Grand Island school board, including two candidates in Ward A who were voted in on a write-in campaign. The net result of the election was five new members on the Grand Island board.

Jensen declined to make an immediate comment on Grover’s resignation.

In her statement Friday, Grover pointed to numerous changes to the district during her tenure:

  • Revisioning Grand Island Senior High and launching the Academies model
  • Remodeling the old Shopko store into an Early Childhood Learning Center
  • GIPS was the first Nebraska district to earn a “GearUP Promise” grant which brought $13 million in funding to the district
  • The district also earned “Demonstration Schools of Rigor” status

“I couldn’t be more proud of what we have accomplished together,” said Grover in her Friday statement. “Now in year seven of my tenure I look back and am overwhelmed with gratitude for the work that we have done to champion better learning and teaching at Grand Island Public Schools. In many ways GIPS has defeated the odds, raised the bar, and set a path for innovative programming, transformational leadership, and steadfast commitment to students. I thank all of our incredible students, staff, parents, and community for the opportunity to serve our great district. This was the venture of a lifetime and I am incredibly grateful.”

“The time has come for me to transition to further make an impact in the field of education.” Grover continued, “Because of Grand Island Public Schools, I am prepared for the next phase of my leadership journey.”

In a statement Friday, Grand Island Education Association president Michelle Carter said, “I wish Dr. Grover the best and I appreciate her kind comments about the work of our teachers and school staff and their commitment to our students. I look forward to working with the board of education as it begins the search process for a new superintendent. I am confident GIPS will find a visionary, innovative and collaborative leader who values transparency and bases decisions on what is best for our students.”

In her statement Grover said she would formally hand her resignation to the Grand Island school board at its meeting next Monday, Dec. 12. A GIPS spokesperson said there would be comment from the district until then.