Former GIPS Superintendent hired in Iowa

Local4 News at 10
Published: Jan. 26, 2023 at 5:29 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa. (KSNB) - At Thursday’s board meeting, the Cedar Rapids Community School District voted unanimously to appoint Dr. Tawana Grover as the district’s new superintendent.

Cedar Rapids TV station KCRG reported she will take over for Art Sathoff, who has been the interim superintendent since November. The district is ultimately replacing Noreen Bush, who had officially been in the role since 2020. She died in late October after a more than two-year battle with cancer.

The district held a number of community input sessions in November, asking people who live in the district what kind of qualities they were looking for in a new leader.

“The Board is confident Dr. Grover fits the leadership profile the search firm prepared and the Board approved following input from our community members, staff, parents, and students. Dr. Grover is a well-respected administrator with a tremendous amount of community leadership involvement. We are excited for her to assume this role and serve as Cedar Rapids School District Superintendent,” said David Tominsky, the Board President.

Dr. Grover had previously been serving in her seventh school year as superintendent at Grand Island Public Schools. She holds numerous degrees including a Ph.D. in Special Education, Educational Specialist in Elementary Education and Educational Leadership and a master’s degree and bachelor’s degree in education.

Dr. Grover released the following statement:

“I firmly believe that it takes an entire community to ensure the success of our public schools. Cedar Rapids Community School District’s commitment to placing students first is undeniable. As your next Superintendent, I will work to ensure students will graduate with more than a diploma. I’m excited to meet the students in the district, hear and elevate their voice, and be inspired by their interests and passions. I am ready to hit the ground running, listening, learning, and leading for the most immediate needs and long into the successful future of Cedar Rapids and focus on the importance of investing in quality education so Every Learner is Future Ready.”

She officially starts as superintendent for the District on July 1, 2023.

Grover resigned last month as superintendent for Grand Island Public Schools. The details of Dr. Grover’s resignation agreement with the district can be found here. Local4 did reach out to GIPS to see if anything from the agreement with Dr. Grover will change due to her finding new employment, and in short - the answer was no. The only part of the agreement that falls off due to Dr. Grover’s new employment is GIPS’ responsibility to provide her health insurance.

The district will still be paying Dr. Grover a lump sum of $294,199.36 during the district’s July 2023 pay period, which is the same month she’ll be starting as superintendent in Cedar Rapids. Local4 did reach out to former GIPS Board President Lisa Albers about the agreement the board reached with Dr. Grover during her resignation, and she declined to comment. We also reached out to GIPS, which said it will not be providing additional comments beyond what has already been shared at the December board meeting.

GIPS Board agrees to pay out Dr. Grover's contract

After the meeting Grover had this to say about her legacy with the district.

“I am just proud to know that I was definitely a trailblazer being the first African-American superintendent in this state - that’s something I take with me, the first female,” Grover said. “We know that those are glass ceilings that people all across this country are still trying to figure out how to break them. I know that’s part of my work going forward is to continue to uplift people of color, but also women.”

The Grand Island School Board earlier this month named former Grand Island Northwest superintendent Matt Fisher as interim superintendent.