Wendy Dau, a veteran educator, school principal and district-level administrator, has been named superintendent of Provo City School District.

The district school board voted unanimously Friday in a special meeting at Timpview Middle School to appoint Dau, who is Canyons School District’s director of federal and state programs, as its next superintendent. Dau start July 1.

Dau, who earned her undergraduate degree in history from BYU, returns to Provo as leader of the city’s public school system.

Dau, whose parents immigrated to the United States from Denmark in the 1950s, said her father impressed upon her at a young age that she should obtain as much education as possible, because “education has the ability to open up endless opportunities for all when we work together.”

She has two graduate degrees from the University Utah, one a master’s of science in history and the other a master’s of education in educational leadership and policy.

Dau served as principal of Jordan High School, part of that time during the pandemic, which was instructive, she said.

“COVID taught me one thing and that is, you have to be communicating and be on the same page as your parents or you cannot get through the challenges that our society is facing unless we all work together,” she said.

Prior to her current administrative appointment and leading Jordan High School, Dau was principal of Midvale Middle School, an assistant principal at Jordan High and for nearly 17 years was an AP history teacher at Davis High School.

Dau will succeed Superintendent Keith C. Rittel, who has served in the position since June 2012 and is retiring. Provo School District serves about 13,600 students.

According to a letter from Dau to the school community posted on the school district’s website, she is a graduate of Bountiful High School.

After graduating from BYU, she was hired by the Davis School District to teach at Davis High School, where she met her husband, David. He is a retired principal but teaches at Canyons School District’s alternative high school. The couple has three grown children and one grandchild.

Dau describes herself as “a fighter for all students to have what they need to take advantage of the opportunities we provide.”

Dau said Provo City School District’s diversity excites her “as I believe we can create great opportunities and meet the needs of all students and families. I assure you that I will work hard for our kids and our families and our employees, and I hope that the passion that I have for education will be contagious.”

School Board President Rebecca Nielsen said Dau stood out as a bridge builder, a creative problem solver, collaborator and innovator.

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Her extensive teaching experience has equipped her with a “deep understanding of the dynamics of the classroom,” Nielsen said.

Dau is the second Wasatch Front superintendent to be named this week. On Thursday, the Salt Lake City Board of Education voted unanimously to approve the selection of Elizabeth Grant as its next district superintendent.