The Harrison School District 2 Board of Education voted unanimously Oct. 22  to dissolve the district’s dual superintendent model and to appoint Wendy Birhanzel as sole superintendent, according to a letter from Harrison School District Board of Education President Jeannie Orozco. Orozco’s statement read, “In Oct. 2020, the Harrison School District 2 Board of Education completed a board self assessment and the superintendent evaluations. Upon completion of these tools, the board raised the concern that the dual superintendent model, though effective at the onset, was no longer the preferred model for the district … We thank Mr. John Rogerson for his time and dedication to the district.”

Semifinalists webready

Harrison School District Two dual superintendent semifinalists (from left) Wendy Birhanzel, Elizabeth Domangue, John Rogerson and Mark Wisley prepare to answer questions at a March 5 community forum. Not pictured is semifinalist Ron Wagner. [Express Photo/Regan Foster]

Rogerson and Birhanzel were appointed D-2 superintendents April 8, 2019, after serving as co-chief operating officers following the May 2019 resignation of Andre Spencer. Rogerson and Birhanzel were appointed “Coming out of a situation where they wanted high accountability,” according to Christine O’Brien, the district’s public information officer. “It worked well to have two people as leaders in the district during COVID who knew the district and knew the community.” 

D-2 was the first school district in Colorado to use a dual superintendent model. Rogerson was chief of secondary education, operations, human resources and student support services, and Birhanzel was in charge of elementary schools, finance, curriculum and instruction. Rogerson and Birhanzel led the district through a flurry of changes introduced at the start of the 2020 school year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Rogerson leaves after a 15-year career in D-2.

Heidi Beedle is a former soldier, educator, activist, and animal welfare worker. She received a Bachelor’s in English from UCCS. She has worked as a freelance writer covering LGBTQ issues, nuclear disasters, cattle mutilations, and social movements.