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Board of Education Message on Superintendent Transition

September 9, 2020

Dear JUHSD Community,

The superintendent transition can be a fragile time that causes some to worry about the next steps for the district.  Dr. Deloria is a beloved part of our school family, and her decision to retire was a very personal one.

Now that Dr. Deloria’s plans to retire have been shared, we understand that people have questions about what this means for our district. We are in the middle of one of the most difficult times in public education, and possibly in modern history. We normally would appoint an interim superintendent and hold a search process with extensive community involvement. Given the current times, such a search would take months to conduct with no guarantee of success. It is especially important now to minimize the amount of disruption we undergo as a community. We have made the decision to appoint Ms. Toni Presta as superintendent, and not as an interim. Community input remains very important to us. To this end, we will hold a series of community conversations, starting with town halls next week. 

Over the next three months, Dr. Deloria, the Board, and Ms. Presta will be working closely together to ensure a smooth transition. Ms. Presta has been part of our community for decades. She has extensive experience, including serving as superintendent for eight years in one of our partner districts. Most importantly, she knows what our district stands for and loves being a part of it. 

The cultural and structural changes that have taken place in the district took a lot of work and heavy lifting from everyone in our JUHSD family.  Please rest assured that we are all committed to continuing the important work of advancing equity in our district. We will continue expanding and improving communication with our JUHSD families and staff. Our priority remains creating a safe and positive learning environment for our students, and a stable working environment for our staff. 

Some have wondered what impact the transition will have on our response to COVID-19. As you recall, the JUHSD Board of Education approved an updated Return-to-School Plan. The plan was built by the Return-to-School committee, which includes more than fifty teachers, principals, students, parents, and district administrators. This plan and the committee that built it will continue until COVID-19 is no longer impacting our community. The committee is in the process of scheduling its next meeting.

We have a very strong leadership team with dedicated principals and committed staff members. We have overcome many obstacles as a community, and we know that we will navigate this challenge as well. As we mentioned above, we will be hosting town hall meetings next week to discuss the transition, and will share the dates and times as soon as possible. We hope you will join us. We will have a Q&A session to answer your questions. In the meantime, please reach out to any of us if you have questions or concerns. 

Sincerely,

Andrew Lie, Trustee
Carla Ng-Garrett, Clerk
Nick Occhipinti, Trustee
Kalimah Y. Salahuddin, President
Rosie Tejada, Vice President