Position Details
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District: Santa Paula Elementary School District
Position/Title: Superintendent
Salary: Competitive and negotiable based on qualifications and experience, plus fringe benefits
Closing Date: Monday, May 2, 2011

The Position

The governing board of the Santa Paula Elementary School District invites applications for the position of Superintendent from qualified and dedicated professional educators who enjoy working in a K-8, rural school district. The ideal candidate will be someone who is a visionary leader with excellent communication and interpersonal skills who is able to build strong stakeholder relationships and coalitions for the benefit of children. This person must be a “generalist” with the knowledge and ability to organize and manage all facets of a kindergarten through grade eight school system and who is able to understand and embrace the culture, mores, traditions and history of a rural school district and community. The person selected for this position will be someone of the highest integrity who will build an atmosphere of trust and respect with the governing board, staff and their representative associations, students and community.

The Community

The City of Santa Paula, population 29,192, is located 65 miles northwest of Los Angeles and 14 miles east of Ventura and the coastline of the Pacific Ocean. It is the geographical center of Ventura County, situated in the rich agricultural Santa Clara River Valley. The city is surrounded by rolling hills and rugged mountain peaks, in addition to orange, lemon, and avocado groves. Santa Paula is referred to as the “Citrus Capital of the World.” In the city there are many old homes undergoing restoration, a Southern Pacific Depot built in 1887, and a small but busy airport called the “Antique Airplane Capital of the World.” Television and movie crews are a common sight. The city also has an active redevelopment plan. The location makes it a wonderful place to live, work and raise a family.

The District

The Santa Paula Elementary School District mission is to “ensure all our students attain their highest academic potential and become responsible, independent citizens through creating instructional systems at the forefront of knowledge and technology, instilling pride in our diverse community, uniting all in a common goal of student success.”

The District operates six K-5 elementary schools, one 6-8 middle school, an early childhood education program and an after-school program. The ethnically diverse student body of 3,639 students is served by a distinguished staff of approximately 223 certificated and 182 classified staff members. 58% of the students are English Language Learners; 11% are Migrant students. Students move on to the Santa Paula Union High School District.

The District proudly dedicated the new John M. Devine Gymnasium/Multi-Purpose Room at the middle school. Grace Thille and Thelma Bedell Elementary Schools are California Distinguished Schools, and Grace Thille Elementary School has been nominated for a Blue Ribbon Honor.

The 2010-11 operating budget is $31 million.

Selection Criteria

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

Professional Experience and Preparation

  • Classroom teaching experience required
  • Administrative experience at site and district levels required
  • Experience as a superintendent or assistant/deputy superintendent preferred
  • California Administrative Services Credential required
  • Bilingual (Spanish Proficient) preferred

Personal Characteristics

  • Honest and ethical, a person of integrity
  • A strong communicator who is approachable, accessible, possesses exceptional empathetic listening skills and can communicate with all stakeholders; a “people person”
  • Demonstrates openness and inclusiveness with all groups; treats all people fairly, with dignity and respect
  • Able to work effectively with and build strong community/parent/business and other relationships, bridges and coalitions for the benefit of children
  • Is a person of strong convictions, able to make difficult decisions and carry out those decisions
  • Actively demonstrates that the interests of children are foremost in their decision-making
  • A courageous leader able to make the difficult decisions based on what is best for students and will stand on their convictions when confronted with pressure
  • An enthusiastic, energetic and motivational team player able to create a cohesive atmosphere within the district
  • Will study and quickly learn about the community and district, including its history, culture, and needs before making significant changes

Professional Skills and Abilities

  • A strong, visionary leader in all aspects of school district operations
  • Has a successful record of building and maintaining positive working relationships with employee associations/unions and their leadership
  • Has expertise in fiscal matters and will ensure an open, transparent budgeting process; fiscally prudent, cost conscious
  • A “hands on” leader able to wear many hats, highly visible and active in the community, service clubs, schools and worksites
  • Able to know, appreciate and work effectively with all populations of a socio-economically and ethnically diverse, small rural community to build bridges and coalitions for the benefit of children
  • Respects, supports and encourages stakeholder involvement in school and district activities, including parents and parent organizations
  • Able to build strong communication links with the schools and departments.
  • A person who is a team builder, one who recognizes the abilities and contributions of all district staff and motivates toward excellence
  • Able to build and maintain a climate of trust and respect within the district and with the community
  • Builds and supports a strong leadership team and honors the chain of command Sets high expectations for staff; insists on evaluations of performance at all levels while maintaining a system of accountability for results

Board Relationships

  • Able to work effectively with the Governing Board to foster a common vision and commitment, maintain a strong governance team structure and establish strong board/superintendent relationships
  • Knows and actively supports school board members and his/her self in performing their roles in district operations and activities


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 consultants.
Applications must be submitted on-line to:

DLAssoc.com Santa Paula Elementary School District
c/o William E. Diedrich, Ph.D. (760) 219 -5873 and John D. Anderson (760) 455-3958, Consultants
Dave Long & Associates, Executive Search Services
636 Loretta Drive
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

All applicants must provide the following items by the closing date, May 2, 2011 (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 & Associates’ web page at DLAssoc.com.
  • A personal letter of application stating reasons for interest in the Santa Paula Elementary 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 on-line to meet the May 2, 2011 (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. The Board may schedule a visit to the successful applicant’s community prior to finalizing its decision.

Salary and Contract Terms

The Santa Paula Elementary 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

Michelle Kolbeck, President


Rick Cadman, Clerk


Tim Hicks, Member


Gary Marshall, Member


Anthony Perez, Member


Applications Close

Monday, May 2, 2011 (5:00 p.m.)

Interviews are tentatively scheduled for May 19-21.