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APS Hiring a New Diversity Chief and Head of HR

Less than two weeks after announcing to Arlington Public Schools employees that its Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer was on leave, the school system has posted a job listing for the position.

ARLnow first reported that Dr. Arron Gregory was on “approved leave” to start the school year. Newly-hired Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Dr. Jason Ottley is filling in for Gregory on an interim basis, an APS spokesman said.

As of Thursday afternoon, Gregory’s position  — which was created in 2019 and which reports directly to the superintendent — was being advertised as open.

“Human Resources announces an opening for the position of Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer,” the job ad says. The position “is responsible for District-wide initiatives and programs that promote instructional equity, create diverse and inclusive environments for employees and students to ensure equal opportunity for academic success across APS. Areas of focus include the recruitment and retention of employees from diverse backgrounds (broadly defined) as well as eliminating opportunity gaps for students at all levels.”

APS spokesman Frank Bellavia confirmed to ARLnow that the school system is now hiring for the position. No explanation for Dr. Gregory’s leave or apparent departure was given. It appears to have been sudden, with Gregory saying via his official Twitter account at the beginning of August that he was looking forward to a DEI staff retreat “in a few weeks.”

Separately, Bellavia also confirmed that APS is hiring a new head of human resources to replace the retiring Dan Redding.

A job ad for the open Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources position was posted on Aug. 11.

“Dan announced his retirement a while ago to relocate with his family,” Bellavia said. Asked about the timing, at the beginning of the school year, he responded that “retirements happen at all times of the year.”

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