Patrick Sanchez, a veteran educator with experience in several metro-area school districts, has officially taken over as superintendent of the Adams 14 school district based in Commerce City.
Sanchez replaces Sue Chandler, who had been superintendent since 2008 and who had previously served as the district’s chief academic officer. School board members voted in May to direct their attorney to craft a separation strategy for Chandler.
Sanchez, who has no prior experience as a superintendent, was selected from among four finalists announced in late May.
“Coming to Commerce City is a bit like coming home for me,” Sanchez said in a press release issued this morning. “My childhood experiences are very similar to those of our students here in Adams 14. I will leverage these past experiences to help students understand that an incredible future is possible, and that they have what it takes to succeed.”
Sanchez most recently served as director of human resources for Aurora Public Schools. Before that, he was principal of Westminster High School in the Adams 50 school district and of West High School in Denver Public Schools. See his resume.
Adams 14 school board members voted 5-0 in June to appoint Sanchez. His contract began July 1.
“No one will rise to low expectations,” Sanchez said in the press release. “I plan to reinforce a culture of high expectations, combined with one that supports both academic and social growth. I will work with the community to ensure that Adams 14 students have not only the academic press, but also the social support needed to succeed in today’s global economy.”
A reception is scheduled July 24 to introduce Sanchez to the community.
Sanchez takes over a challenging district that has struggled to make academic progress.
Adams 14 district serves 7,300 students and reports one of the highest poverty rates in Colorado, with a federal lunch assistance rate of 86 percent. The state has rated the district “Accredited with Turnaround Plan,” the lowest rating possible and one shared by just 3.8 percent of districts statewide.
A 2011 analysis of census data by EdNews Colorado found nearly 40 percent of adults over age 25 in Adams 14 had yet to achieve a high school degree. In contrast, more than half the adults in the Douglas County School District had four-year college degrees.