Superintendent Chris Gdowski
Superintendent of Adams 12 Five Star Schools; Juris Doctor from the University of Colorado at Boulder
Chris has a strong connection to Adams 12 Five Star Schools. Chris attended school in the district and graduated from Thornton High School. He served as the district's lead outside legal counsel for many years, transitioning in 2006 to the in-house general counsel role. He has served as superintendent since November 2009.
During his tenure as Superintendent, the district has consistently improved. Chris has led the work in improving the graduation rate by more than 20 percent, including reducing the gap between white and Hispanic students to less than half the state average; seeing improved school accountability ratings so that 80 percent of the district's schools are accredited as “performance”, the state’s highest rating, up from 50 percent just three years ago; narrowing and eliminating gaps in district performance in English language arts and mathematics as compared to state averages; and launching a STEM continuum that has drawn interest and accolades at the state, national, and international levels. Of the 20 Colorado school districts serving 10,000 or more students, the Five Star District is the most improved in the state's accountability system since 2014.
He serves on a variety of boards with connections to Adams County and to public education, including the Metro North Chamber of Commerce; Adams County Education Consortium (past chair); Adams County Economic Development; Adams County Youth Initiative (past chair); Junior Achievement Rocky Mountain; Public Education and Business Coalition; and the Denver Area School Superintendents Council (DASSC) (past chair).
In November 2018, Chris was named one of Metro Denver’s Most Admired CEOs by the Denver Business Journal. One of 15 executives honored out of over 100 nominations, he was the only education leader selected. The awardees in the inaugural class were selected based on company success, civic engagement and innovation.