Meet the new interim superintendent: Corey Wise


Corey Wise, superintendent, said, “You wake up every day feeling like you can make a difference.” Photo courtesy of Kelly Devol

Back on Sept. 1 of this year, according to the Denver Post, the Board of Education received a complaint of workplace discrimination of a district employee against Dr. Thomas Tucker, the current superintendent of Douglas County School District. Tucker was then placed on administrative leave, and he announced his resignation a week later, citing “personal and family reasons” for his departure, according to the Denver Post. According to Fox 31 News, it was determined that although Tucker did not violate the district’s “nondiscrimination/equal opportunity policy”, the district was left with the important job of finding an interim superintendent.

The job eventually went to 47-year-old Corey Wise, a 25 year veteran of the district, who was named interim superintendent on Oct. 7. 

Wise is a Colorado native that has been teaching for the majority of his life. Both his parents were teachers, and he got involved with teaching from an early age and knew that it was what he wanted to do. Wise said, “I knew I wanted to teach, but just wasn’t sure what. My high school social studies teacher was the reason I wanted to teach, but what I wanted to teach was special education.”

As a junior in high school, he began student teaching for that same social studies teacher. He went to college and got a degree in social studies, and while he was working on his masters in special education, he started student teaching at Ponderosa High School. 

The principal of Ponderosa at the time, Bill Larsen, recommended that Wise switch to an administrative role. After doing so, he then transitioned into Chaparral as it was opening in 1997. From there, he became a dean, then an assistant principal, and the founding principal of Legend High School.

This wealth of experience within the field of teaching helped him to get this position and will serve him well when making big decisions for schools. He said he was “humbled and honored to be around great people and learn from them.”

Wise is constantly meeting with other principals and teachers around the district. He is also trying to get to know the Board of Education and district-level leadership. He is “a big believer in how you build a team when you do this work ” and loves to connect with others. He is also working to make big decisions about hybrid learning and getting back to in-person learning, decisions that affect a lot of people.

“I am a passionate person. I love what I do,” said Wise. His favorite part of his job so far has been that “you see a purpose in your work. You wake up every day feeling like you can make a difference.  I truly love Douglas County, my whole career was here. I believe in who we are and what we accomplish.” 

There are certainly many difficult challenges Wise faces, this year more than ever. He “tries to make the right decisions, you try to find the positive in things, you try to build more positive, but this is a challenging year.” He said it is hard at times to “find the resilience, how do we find the positive, how do we bring us more together rather than all the negative we could focus on.” That challenge looms larger than ever this year.

Wise hopes others would describe him as “optimistic, that I’m about people.” He wants to build a relationship with others in order to empower them. He said, “If you can engage, you can start to empower people because we know what we have in common, and we know what we are working towards.” 

Chris Page, the principal at Highlands Ranch High School, first met Wise about 9 years ago, back when he was a dean at Rock Canyon High School. Page really appreciates Wise because he is “good at making the decisions, even the tough ones, and sticking by the decisions that he makes.” 

As to a few words Page would use to describe Wise, he used outgoing, building connections with others, and visionary. He joked that “there are not many places where you find a quiet Mr. Wise standing around.” He also said that Wise loves to build connections with others, and “believes in building good relationships with kids and with adults, and so he tries to build connections with people.”  

Being the interim superintendent means Wise has a limited time in his position. Page hopes that in his short time, he can “help create a more stable environment for all students and educators.” Page also does not want to wait to make big decisions just because Wise may not be permanent. Page said, “I don’t want the district to say, well, he’s not permanent, so let’s wait, let’s wait, let’s wait. No, let’s make some decisions, let’s move forward, and let’s make sure those decisions are in the best interest of kids.”

Infographic by Lucas Johnson

Lucas Johnson, Staff Reporter