Coconino County Superintendent of Schools Robert Kelty will resign from his current position to become Senior Managing Director for Regional Alumni Support with Teach for America.
Kelty, who was appointed in August 2010 and was elected to a full term in 2012, will maintain in his current role until a new Superintendent of Schools is appointed and seated by the County Board of Supervisors. After a successor is in place, Kelty will work with Teach for America to enhance its efforts in multiple major U.S. cities, including Washington, D.C., New York City and Boston.
“On behalf of the Board of Supervisors, we thank Robert for his efforts to enhance the educational opportunities for the children, youth and adults within our county,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Ryan. “When the Board appointed Robert, we knew we had selected someone special who has a passion for education and leaving a positive impact. The citizens of Coconino County were lucky to be served by Robert during his time as Superintendent of Schools.”
In addition to the County’s Superintendent of Schools, Kelty served as the Superintendent of the Accommodation School District throughout his term, until David Roth was promoted in November 2013. Kelty also oversaw the transition from the Superintendent of Schools Office into the Coconino County Education Service Agency (CCESA), an agency comprised of six service divisions.
Kelty said he looked forward to continuing the missions of the CCESA and Teach for America.
“My personal mission directly aligns with Teach for America’s, that one day, every child in this nation will have the opportunity to attain an excellent education,” Kelty said. “I am grateful for all of my supporters, the Board of Supervisors and Teach for America for believing in me to fight for and deliver on this promise.”
During his term as Superintendent of Schools, Kelty worked to ensure 3-to-5 year-olds with disabilities in the Havasupai Tribe received proper educational and preventative services from the Arizona Department of Education, while leading the Accommodation District to becoming a highly innovative school district with fiscal stability. He also worked with community partners to expand preschool programs to more than 600 students across the County and founded the County Teacher of the Year Award.
Kelty appointed more than 25 people to serve on school district governing boards throughout the County. Most recently, he co-founded the Transformative Learning Center (TLC), an early childhood agency dedicated to empowering families with knowledge, connecting community support networks and advocating for universal access to high-quality preschools in Flagstaff and the surrounding areas.
The TLC’s “Parenting College” program has graduated more than 25 families, focusing on early childhood and the K-12 system as the cornerstone of economic and civic development, poverty elimination and grassroots community collaboration.
“Robert has acted as a champion for our students, teachers and families in his relentless pursuit to ensure each has the tools needed to excel,” Supervisor Ryan said. “Through his leadership, investment in our schools and families, and innovative ideas, Robert helped to expand educational outlets and programs throughout the County.”
Kelty previously served as a Teach for America corps member between 2001 and 2003 on the Navajo Nation. He was also a teacher in the Flagstaff Unified School District for six years and the 2008 Arizona Teacher of the Year. Recently Kelty received his doctorate in education degree from Northern Arizona University.
Teach for America recruits accomplished college graduates and professionals to teach in urban and rural public schools, promotes educational equity and fosters leadership of alumni in both the private and public sector to build and support exemplary school systems for all children.
“The time is right,” Kelty said of his decision to leave the County. “All of our division leaders are pushing for transformative change and effective government. With good leadership, the agency will continue to deliver excellent educational opportunities to children, youth, and families. We can’t stop moving forward in making Coconino County a beacon of educational excellence in Arizona and nationally.”
By state statute, the County Board of Supervisors will appoint a successor to complete Kelty’s term, which ends Dec. 31, 2016. The Board is working with county staff on an open recruitment and appointment process for the new Superintendent of Schools.
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