November 5: Message from the Superintendent
November 5, 2020
Dear WCCUSD Community,
After a great deal of thoughtful consideration I have decided not to return to the West Contra Costa Unified School District next year as your Superintendent. It is with mixed emotions that I will allow my current contract to expire on June 30, 2021 and choose not to seek re-employment with the school district for the 2021-2022 school year.
The Board of Education will also be undergoing a significant change as a result of the recent election. In December, four new members will be seated on the five-member governing board. The community has spoken and they want fresh leadership perspectives to guide the future of our schools. The current Board should defer to this new crop of leaders to give them the space and time to fully own the process of finding my replacement. Hiring a Superintendent is the primary responsibility of the new Trustees. They should feel comfortable with the search firm they retain and the recruiting process they will oversee. For my part, I am committed to making the transition as seamless as possible. I will still be your superintendent for eight months as we navigate through the lingering COVID pandemic and will serve until the end of the school year.
Now in my 5th year as Superintendent, I am very proud of the work we have done together and the many things we have accomplished. I am especially proud of the work our team and community have done during the COVID pandemic to create a schedule that is fair and sustainable for our students. We have respected the needs of our families, employees and students to create a safe, healthy and supportive learning environment in very uncertain and difficult times.
It has been an unbelievable blessing for me and my family to have shared in the story of the West Contra Costa Unified School District for these years. From science fairs to football games and graduations to community meetings, every day has brought me great honor and humility. Families and staff have welcomed me, shared their stories, their passions, their questions and concerns. I have done everything in my power to act to make the district a better place. Our district is unique and complex, stretching itself to serve many different cities and communities. It has been an absolute joy to work to meet the needs of so many different people.
New school board leadership will take their oaths of office in just a few weeks. They will now be working in a new structure representing single areas of the district, not just the whole district.
I wish all the new members the best of luck in building a strong and united governance team to help move the district forward while supporting their individual areas of representation. Our budget is in good shape and our internal systems continue to strengthen. The positive initiatives we started will leave WCCUSD in a strong, sustainable position for the future.
My work for the remainder of this year is to help the district transition back to physical school regardless of timeline. Getting back to school is critically important and we will get there. We will work to ensure that our students are getting what they need and we are hearing their voices through this difficult process.
There is still great need around our district. We have many struggling learners as well as students and families who have been historically disenfranchised. We will need to stay dedicated to equity and racial justice in our system and in our community. I am ready to work with our new Board over the coming months to strengthen and evaluate our work in support of all students in our district. Depending on results of elections, ballot initiatives and state finances, our budget in the coming years may be under significant stress. We will have to work even harder to make sure we can support our learners most historically far from opportunity and achievement.
With work still to do, I am so proud of what I have been able to accomplish with your help during my time here. Thank you to so many of you for insights and energies in bringing these initiatives and programs to life. While the district is on the move, there is much that remains to be done. With strong, collaborative leadership I am confident that West Contra Costa USD can continue on its journey to make our schools a place where everyone can thrive and succeed.
Superintendent of Schools