On July 10, after another, much shorter search, MMSD settled on UW-Madison alumnus and former associate principal of Madison Memorial High School Dr. Carlton Jenkins to be the district’s first Black superintendent. Since his time at Madison Memorial, Jenkinshas held high-ranking positions in school districts in New Hope, Minnesota; Beloit, Wisconsin; and Atlanta, Georgia. Madisonians, especially the signatories of the open letter to MMSD, were extremely relieved to have someone they saw as competent and experienced in the role.
“I’m just happy someone’s working,” said Marcus Allen, Rev. of Mt. Zion Baptist Church and co-author of the Madison365 op-ed. “First and foremost I’m a parent, and someone needs to be in that job, especially right now. And I’m very happy it’s Mr. Jenkins.”
In his first press conference, Jenkins repeatedly referenced the strength of community as a means to get through the coming semester, which was slated to begin online.
“We will not put at risk any student, any staff or any parent, any community person coming into our schools,” Jenkins said.