Position Details
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District: Reef-Sunset Unified School District
Position/Title: Superintendent
Salary: Competitive and negotiable
Closing Date: Friday, March 26, 2010

The Position

The Board of Trustees of Reef-Sunset Unified School District invites qualified, successful leaders to apply for the position of district superintendent.

The ideal candidate will be someone who is a strong leader with excellent communications and interpersonal skills.

The superintendent must be a "generalist" with experience in instruction, business, personnel, facilities, and state and federal programs.

The successful candidate will also be someone committed to becoming part of a rural community and being highly visible and involved in the Reef-Sunset community and schools.

The Community

The Reef-Sunset Unified School District serves the communities of Avenal and Kettleman City located in Kings County. The district office is in the city of Avenal. Avenal is 180 miles north of Los Angeles and 200 miles south of both San Francisco and Sacramento. The city boasts at being located, "Half the way from the Bay to L.A."

Agriculture is the main industry for both communities and the majority of the adult population are farm laborers. The remaining population is employed by the school district, Avenal State Prison, and in the retail businesses serving both towns. The city has been actively pursuing industrial development and is looking at future development of the Interstate 5 interchange area for both commercial and industrial uses. The district enrollment mirrors the community with 95% Hispanic and 72% English Learners.

The District

Reef-Sunset USD serves 2,489 students; and has maintained an enrollment of 2400-2500 over the last five years. Schools in the district include Avenal Elementary School (K-5), Kettleman City Elementary School (K-8), Tamarack Elementary School (K-3), Reef Sunset Middle School (6-8), Avenal High School (9-12), and Alternative Education programs including Adelante and Sunrise Continuation High Schools, Primary and Secondary Community Day Schools, and an Adult Education program.

The district's annual general fund budget is approximately $21 million. The district employs 140 certificated staff and 122 classified staff.

The district is in Title I Program Improvement Year 3 and currently under corrective action imposed by the State Board of Education. Avenal Elementary, Kettleman City Elementary, Tamarack Elementary, Reef Sunset Middle, and Avenal High are in Program Improvement Year 5. Sunrise Continuation is in Program Improvement Year 3. The restructuring plan the district's School Board adopted for schools entering Program Improvement Year 5 is the Alternative Governance Board.

There is a strong commitment to professional development and identification of best educational practices. Literacy Coaches at all school sites support classroom teachers in meeting student achievement goals and help implement Program Improvement goals. In addition, the After School Learning program provides extended educational support. The Parent Empowerment Program, in partnership with UC Merced, emphasizes the opportunities of a college education.

Selection Criteria

The following criteria represent standards which will be used in the evaluation of applications and in the selection of the superintendent.

Professional Experience and Preparation

  • Masters degree and administrative credential required
  • Superintendent experience desirable
  • Some District level experience required
  • Principal experience required
  • Classroom teaching experience required
  • Bilingual ability desirable

Personal Characteristics

  • Has high integrity and is honest, fair, and trustworthy
  • Is accessible and easily approachable and has an "open door" policy
  • Is a "people person" with strong public and human relations skills and a sense of humor
  • Is a decisive leader who makes sound, difficult decisions in the best interests of students, holds firm, and follows through.
  • Has excellent communications and listening skills and relates to people at all levels
  • Is highly visible and active in the community, schools, and worksites and is committed to becoming part of the rural community the school district serves
  • Possesses ability to assign responsibility, delegate authority and insist on personal and staff accountability, and to recognize exceptional performance
  • Has a high level of energy, enthusiasm, and motivation, with a strong work ethic and highly professional demeanor
  • Is sensitive and responsive to the educational needs and concerns of English Learners and the cultural diversity in the community
  • Is a creative and innovative leader who has the courage to deal with difficult issues and remain focused and positive in stressful situations

Professional Skills and Abilities

  • Has a commitment to academic excellence and a clear vision for education that maintains a focus on improving student performance
  • Has the ability to work effectively with the Board and provide the Board with relevant, timely, and accurate information, alternatives, and recommendations to make informed decisions in a timely manner
  • Has demonstrated ability to manage the district's finances, facilities, and resources in a responsible manner, as well as the ability to seek and find new funding sources
  • Has excellent knowledge of K-12 curriculum and understands current education theory, "best practices" instructional techniques, curricular expectations, and laws and regulations at the state and federal levels
  • Has experience in working with schools in Program Improvement status and success in improving student achievement
  • Understands and supports a balanced curriculum, with interest in maintaining high quality vocational education, music, art, and drama programs
  • Demonstrates an understanding of collective bargaining and the ability to create a positive climate in employer/employee relations
  • Successfully pursues and develops close working relationships with public agencies in joint projects and community partnerships to provide additional resources and programs to the school district
  • Has knowledge and expertise in Alternative Education Programs


Application Procedures

All applications will be held strictly confidential. Each applicant is requested to follow the procedures listed below. Those applicants wishing additional information should contact the board consultant:

Dr. Wendell Chun at (209) 613-2409

Applications must be submitted online to:

Reef-Sunset Unified School District
c/o Dr. Wendell Chun, Consultant
Dave Long and Associates, Executive Search Services
31500 Grape Street. Ste. 3, #412
Lake Elsinore, CA 92532-9702

All applicants must provide the following items by the closing date, Friday, March 19, 2010 (5:00 p.m.), to be considered:
  • A completed Application Information Form. (Please complete as instructed: do not complete by stating "see attached resume".) The Application Information Form and brochure may be completed via Dave Long and Associates web page at DLAssoc.com.
  • A personal letter of application stating reasons for interest in the Reef-Sunset Unified School District superintendent position
  • A resume providing biographical background information about educational preparation, experience, and achievements
  • A placement file and/or five (5) current letters of professional references describing the applicant's performance in previously held positions

It is the applicant's responsibility to submit placement papers or reference letters online by the Friday, March 19, 2010 (5:00 p.m.) deadline.


Selection Procedure

A professional screening committee of respected educational leaders will evaluate the qualifications of each applicant. The board and the screening committee will use the described criteria during the screening, interviewing and final decision-making process. After receiving the report of the committee, the board will select and interview the top candidates.

The board will then select and invite candidates for the final interviews, conduct the interviews and select the superintendent. Any applicant who contacts a board member with the intent of influencing the board's decision will be disqualified. Travel expenses for those candidates selected for the initial interview will be the responsibility of the candidate.

Salary and Contract Terms

The Reef-Sunset Unified School District Board of Education will offer a multi-year contract of employment with a salary that is competitive and negotiable based on the qualifications and experience of the successful candidate, plus fringe benefits.

It is the candidate's responsibility to provide the district with employment eligibility and verification of citizenship in compliance with the Immigration Reform and Control Act. The finalist will also be required to provide the district with certified transcripts that verify attainment of academic degrees and proof of appropriate credentials.

Board of Education

Term Expires
Gail Monohon, President 2010
Larry Bunch, Clerk 2012
Jose Barrera, Member 2010
Virginia Lowe, Member 2012
Ricardo Verdugo, Member 2012

Applications Close

Friday, March 19, 2010 (5:00 p.m.)
Interviews are tentatively scheduled for April 16, 17, and 18, 2010