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Update: Roots Elementary to Begin Leadership Search

Jon Hanover, founder of Roots Elementary in northeast Denver, will vacate his position as executive director at the end of the school year.

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Earlier this month, Roots Elementary founder Jon Hanover announced he would step down from his executive director position at the end of the school year. Hanover began designing and developing the northeast Denver school in 2011 (read “Testing Ground” for more information about the school’s formation). “At my heart, I’m an entrepreneur and the set of skills that I have and can offer to world is [around] starting things,” Hanover says. “The school is in its third year and the worries about startup, survival, and making the work sustainable have changed. We have a unique opportunity to bring in new leadership.”

Hanover will still be involved with the school, in a to-be-defined role. Meanwhile, Roots Elementary’s Board of Directors has begun the search for a new executive director. (Full disclosure, 5280 publisher Remy Spreeuw recently joined the school’s board.) “It will be a transition,” Stephanie Itelman, the board’s vice-chair, says. “There is an opportunity to find someone who is a really great fit and will be able to transition the school to the next level.”

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That hire will work closely with Kathryn Martinez, the school’s principal, who will be returning. “We’re sad to see Jon go, but we know he’ll still be an integral part of Roots,” Martinez says. “I’m excited to continue with our outstanding growth.” As for what’s next? Hanover isn’t sure. “For the near term,” Hanover says. “I will be really focused on setting Roots up during the transition.”

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