Brian Schroeder Named Principal of Phoenix Charter School

Brian Schroeder Named Principal of Phoenix, AZ Charter School in Crisis

Written by on May 9, 2023

Brian Schroeder led Wyoming’s school as the interim State Superintendent of Public Instruction a year ago. A year later, he’s not even in Wyoming.

Benchmark Preschool and Elementary School in Phoenix, Arizona, has announced Schroeder as its new principal. He will assume the helm of both schools after their previous principals were suddenly dismissed.

Schroeder has worked as a teacher and administrator in private schools in California, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Wyoming and as a family and youth counselor. He earned his Bachelor’s degree from Maranatha Baptist University and holds a Master’s in Professional Counseling from Liberty University. His last school position was Head of School at Veritas Academy at Cody’s First Presbyterian Church.

Governor Mark Gordon appointed Schroeder as intern State Superintendent in January 2022 after incumbent Jillian Balow resigned. However, his tenure ended once Megan Defengelder ascended to the position after winning the 2022 election.

Despite the notorious heat of Phoenix, there’s already a cool reception waiting for Schroeder.

Schroeder has his work cut out for him. According to Fox 10 News in Phoenix, both of Benchmark’s principals – Wendy Brady and Maria Etchebarren – were unexpectedly fired by the school’s corporate board on April 24. No reasons for their termination were given other than the school is “going in a new direction.” Brady had been at Benchmark for two decades before her dismissal.

Parents were taken aback by the board’s decision – and aren’t happy about it. Over 1,000 people have signed a petition asking the board to reconsider firing the “beloved principals,” and students openly protested.

Also, Schroeder is well-known for his conservative policies and politics, supporting several conservative education policies during his time as State Superintendent.  The culmination of his efforts was the “Stop the Sexualization of Our Children” political event he held in Cheyenne (which prompted an ongoing lawsuit from the State of Wyoming for misuse of public funds.)

A parent with a student at Benchmark said the school has no political or religious affiliation, and several LGBTQ students are currently enrolled. Therefore, scrutiny of Schroeder’s appointment is already been met with concern and skepticism.

The Cowboy State Daily attempted to reach Schroeder for comment, which he declined.

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