Quarles named state’s chief deputy

By: Jennifer Swindell and the Silverback team

All of us at Silverback Learning Solutions congratulate Roger Quarles on his new position as chief deputy for the Idaho State Department of Education. Mileposts was installed in Caldwell in 2009 and this is their success story:

Caldwell School District, a medium-sized district located in the outskirts of Boise, Idaho is a migrant community serving 6500 students, over half of who are English- language learners and 69% of whom are eligible for free and reduced lunch. In 2007 all ten schools in the District failed to make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). Roger Quarles, then superintendent of the District,  researched Mileposts and realized it was created in large part to meet the needs of the demographic in his district, as at its core is the idea that Mileposts would serve all at-risk, second language, and other special assistance “category” children with consistency and communication among teacher teams, administrators, and families. In fall 2009, Caldwell installed Mileposts and by the spring of 2010, just six short months later, announced that 7 out of 10 Caldwell schools reached AYP, a remarkable achievement. Over the next two years (2009-2011) Caldwell increased their AYP scores in reading by 14% and math by 23%, figures nearly 3 times the state average growth percentages. Quarles was praised by Tom Luna, Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction, for modeling “what is possible” and attributed the rapid turn around to Mileposts, which he said, “…allowed our teachers and administrators to use laser-like focus at the point of instruction to respond to student academic need.” We believe Roger is an inspired leader and will bring about positive change for Idaho’s public schools. 

Editor’s Note: The article that follows originally appeared in the July 29, 2013 edition of  Idaho Ed News It is re-posted here with their permission.

Roger Quarles was named chief deputy for the State Department of Education Monday. Superintendent Tom Luna made the announcement during the annual superintendent’s meeting at the Grove Hotel.

“He has a vast experience in education. I’m thrilled to have him come on board,” Luna said.

Quarles replaces Nick Smith, who left to become principal at Boise’s Lowell Elementary School.

As Chief Deputy, Quarles will oversee, supervise and support all educational programs at the department, including federal programs, assessment, school improvement and content areas. His first day is Aug. 19.

“I believe this is one of the most exciting times to be involved in education. I support Superintendent Luna’s vision to create a customer-driven education system that meets the needs of every student, so I am eager to join him and his team at the state level and work toward achieving these goals,” Quarles said.

Quarles brings 19 years of experience in education to the state. He has served as a teacher, a principal, assistant superintendent, district superintendent and university professor. He also was a successful businessman before starting his career in education.

Roger Quarles, CIFS, studio portrait

Roger Quarles

Quarles currently is an assistant professor in the Department of Curriculum, Instruction and Foundational Studies at Boise State University, and co-director for the Idaho Leads Project, which he helped launch 18 months ago. The project helps school districts and charter schools build leadership capacity in their education communities; 63 districts and charters are participating.

“Roger is making this move for all the right reasons,” said Lisa Kinnaman, a co-director for the Idaho Leads project and colleague of Quarles. “He is relentless about pursuing the best education possible for every student in Idaho.”

Kinnaman said she is most impressed with Quarles’ leadership skills.

“Roger has a way of making you believe the impossible is possible,” Kinnaman said. “He led our team to achieve beyond any established goals. I have no doubt he is going to make a tremendous impact on Idaho education in his new role.”

Quarles also is a member of Gov. Butch Otter’s 31-member education task force, which has worked over the summer to find ideas to improving education in Idaho.

Before joining BSU in May 2011, Quarles served as the superintendent of the Caldwell School District, one of the largest districts in Idaho with more than 6,000 students and 800 staff members. Quarles led the Caldwell School District through a reform effort in order to improve instruction and student achievement. When Quarles became superintendent in 2007, none of Caldwell’s schools met adequate yearly progress goals. In 2010, eight of the district’s 10 schools met the goals.

The Caldwell School District under Quarles partnered with Boise State’s Center for School Improvement and Policy Studies to implement the Caldwell Academy of Leadership and provide a leadership coach to every principal and the superintendent.

Quarles led the district as it built two award-winning elementary schools and partnered with a number of community organizations to offer more opportunities to students, including the creation of an after-school tutoring program and a pre-school in partnership with the United Way and local YMCA.

“Through his work in the Caldwell School District and at Boise State, Roger Quarles has demonstrated he is a leader of reform and innovation in Idaho with a proven track record of success,” Luna said.

Quarles was promoted to superintendent in 2007 after 18 months as deputy superintendent. In 2011, he completed his Ph.D. in educational leadership from the University of Idaho. Before coming to the Caldwell School District, Quarles worked for the Blaine County and Kuna school districts as a teacher, coach and administrator. Before starting his teaching career, Quarles was a successful businessman. He owned his own pizza chain in California. Quarles and his wife, Trish, have four children and a granddaughter.

Disclaimer: The Idaho Leads Project and Idaho Education News are both funded by a grant from the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation. Idaho Education News is housed by Boise State University.


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Posted: July 30th, 2013