Capital School District superintendent to step down, join Christina School District

After five years with the district, Capital School District superintendent Dan Shelton will step down from the role at the end of June to begin his tenure as superintendent in Christina School District.

“It’s exciting to get to come home,” said Dr. Shelton Friday, who had served as a principal in the district for nearly a decade before coming to Capital in 2015.

Dr. Shelton’s new role begins on July 1. Christina’s school board unanimously approved extending Dr. Shelton an offer Thursday night, as Dover High students were crossing the finish lane at Dover International Speedway to accept their diplomas.

Dr. Shelton began his teaching career in Christina and served as principal at a number of the district’s schools, he said. His children attend school at Maclary Elementary, according to a news release.

Looking back at his time as superintendent in Capital, he said that, when he started, there had been a need to “make sure we were effectively reaching all kids.”

“I think that we’ve made great strides there,” he said. 

He nodded toward the district having licensed clinical social workers in every building, transforming the gifted and talented program for more access and equity, expanding the Spanish immersion program and giving more access to dual enrollment and AP.

He feels his legacy in the district will be the reorganization of the district — having preschool and kindergarten centers by 2023, moving grades one to five to elementary school, having grades six through eight in the middle school to cut down on transitions at the middle school level. And, of course, the brand new dual-middle school slated for the former Dover High site.

“That’s going to give high quality education to all of our kids,” he said. “We’re not going to have two schools with haves and have-nots. We’re building an absolutely innovative approach to education with that new school, and it’s going to be amazing.”

As he steps into the new role, he arrives at Christina — and leaves Capital — during a particularly challenging time for education, with schools having been under remote instruction since mid-March, and series of conversations ongoing about what a return to school in the fall could, and should, look like. 

“I was a leader here in Capital and there’s important things that come with being the leader, but the work that we’re doing in Capital wasn’t my work,” he said. “All of the staff in the Capital School District is just phenomenal. And so while [I’m] leaving, there will obviously be some changes, it wasn’t my work, it was their work. They’re an amazing team, and it will continue.”

He noted that there’s much work to be done as he takes the top position at Christina.

“There’s been some struggles over the years at Christina, but it’s my hope that we can build a great administrative team up there, because there’s already great teachers and and staff there and we’ll be able to turn the perception, because a lot of the issues in Christina are not reality, they’re perception,” he said. “And similar to what we did in Capital, right. There was this perception, but once we pointed out the great things going on we helped to change that perspective.”

The school board declined to comment Friday. Next steps for Capital, and who will helm the district, are forthcoming. 

This story has been updated.