On Thursday, Feb. 13, the Marana Unified School District Governing Board voted unanimously to hire Dan Streeter as the district’s new superintendent, effective following the retirement of Doug Wilson July 1.
Streeter, who currently works as superintendent for the Humboldt Unified School District in Prescott Valley, Arizona, beat out 44 other applicants for the position. Streeter, who has lived in Arizona since 1992, and served as Humboldt Unified superintendent for five years, and is passionate about “redefining, redesigning and reimagining education with a focus on a collaborative system-wide vision of 21st century education.”
“It was the Marana Unified School District and the Town of Marana that were the draw for me,” Streeter said. “Going through the application process, this was the only position I was pursuing at the time, and that’s because of the community itself.”
Streeter says he’s busied himself with researching the school district for the last 18 months as a potential district to work in. When Wilson formally announced his retirement plans in October 2019, Streeter jumped at the opportunity. Streeter’s application was accepted after the district organized a nationwide search over the last few months.
As an educator passionate about redefining education for a modern world, Streeter says he is excited about the developments occurring throughout Marana Unified, such as the recent opening of a computer science school at Dove Mountain.
“In our district and community, we’ve been having a conversation about what kind of skills our kids are going to need to have when they leave our school system, and the reality is, we have to prepare students for an ever-changing society,” Streeter said. “We need to give them the skills that will allow them to be able to adapt to changes in society and the economy. So we’ve been talking a lot about collaborative teaching and learning environments, standards-referenced reporting, what competency-based education looks like, and really shifting the conversation, where it used to be about teaching, now it’s about learning and creating experiences for kids that will allow them to develop the skills to be successful when they leave our system.”
While this ethos lends itself to science, technology, engineering and mathematics, Streeter says it’s not explicitly STEM-based.
“Obviously I think STEM is going to be a big part of the future, but even beyond that you’ll need special skills. Even STEM areas are changing so rapidly,” Streeter said.
In Humboldt, Streeter helped develop “personalized learning” at iChoose Academy on the campus of Glassford Hill Middle School. iChoose Academy uses a middle school model with 100 students and four teachers, focusing on a more collaborative learning environment.
“It consists of seventh and eighth graders, but nobody is in seventh or eighth grade; the students are working through content based on their competency levels, so we have some people working at a faster pace than others, but at the same time, we’re trying to engage them in real life authentic learning experiences that are hands on, that are collaborative in nature, and give them skills beyond content knowledge,” Streeter said.
Streeter is also involved in his local schools’ joint technical education district, Mountain Institute JTED, and is focused on expanding access to JTED programs.
“It’s the conversations that have been happening throughout MUSD that are exciting to me. Obviously, the Dove Mountain CSTEM school, but also the work that’s happening throughout the district. I’m looking forward to being part of those conversations,” Streeter said. “One of the things I want to make sure of is that we don’t have barriers that prevent students from achieving the success that works for them.”
Streeter earned his doctorate in educational leadership from Northern Arizona University with a research emphasis in personalized learning environments. Prior to his service as the superintendent, he served as assistant superintendent, director of human resources and principal for Humboldt Unified.
“I think coming into a district, especially a district that is already as highly functioning as MUSD, really my role is going to be to assimilate myself into the culture that exists,” Streeter said. “And then continue to work with our educational community to evolve the district forward. But coming into the district for me is about building relationships and understanding where everyone’s at and wants to go, and how I can support the district in that vision.”