Davenport new superintendent ‘ecstatic’ to get to work

DAVENPORT, Iowa -- With the 2019-2020 school year starting in just a few weeks, Davenport Community School District announced its new superintendent began Friday.

"I'm ecstatic," Superintendent Robert Kobylski says. "This is something I've been looking forward to for a long time, professionally as well as personal."

Robert Kobylski, Ed.D., finalized his paperwork before the August 15 deadline set by the Iowa Board of Education becoming the district's new superintendent on July 1. Kobylski follows Interim Superintendent T.J. Schneckloth.

During a special meeting on Monday, August 5, the Davenport School Board approved Kobylski's contract, which included a new start date of August 1. Of four board member present, Director Daniel Gosa was the only one to vote against it. He said the salary was too high considering the district's financial situation.

Complications with Kobylski's certifications led to delay after delay as the board of education claimed "the classes he took in Wisconsin don't reflect Iowa's standards".

Kobylski formerly served as the superintendent of Nicolet High School and the Fox Point-Bayside School District in Wisconsin, according to a statement from the district.

"There's a lot of work to do here, on a whole host of contexts," Kobylski says. "First and foremost, I have to meet the people."

Kobylski will be facing challenges in the district that have been going on for years, including special education violations and disproportionality issues. He's also looking at a tight budget for the district.

"We're gonna analyze all the programs in our district, make sure that they are accomplishing everything they hoped they would accomplish," he says.

Kobylski also says student achievement is highest on his priority list. He says seeing improvements will make an impression on parents who may have been wary of the district in the past.

"We're gonna need to see student achievement scores going up," he says. "We're gonna need to see social, emotional wellness within our students, and actually have data and metrics to show our community that is actually happening."

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