Position Details
Back to search page...
District: Old Adobe Union School District
Position/Title: Superintendent
Salary: $135,000 Competitive and Negotiable
Closing Date: Friday, May 27, 2011

The Position

The Old Adobe Union School District is looking for an outstanding superintendent to work collaboratively with the board, staff, and parents to provide an exemplary education for elementary students. The district has innovative curriculum, superior staff relations and morale, and a responsive, fiscally responsible board. The district has continued to improve educational opportunities for children despite the ongoing economic challenges. The board is seeking an excellent communicator with high integrity who can provide the vision and inspiration to continue to lead the district forward.

The Community

The Old Adobe School District is located in eastern part of the city of Petaluma and the surrounding countryside, and covers seventy-five square miles. The charming city of Petaluma is forty miles north of San Francisco and twenty miles from the Pacific Ocean. Historic downtown Petaluma was built around the Petaluma River which supported the growth of the dairy and egg industries prevalent in the area in the late 19th century. While downtown Petaluma has added shops, restaurants and theaters over the years, it has retained its historic Victorian character. Petaluma’s agricultural businesses still thrive, complemented by growing manufacturing, telecommunications, and wine industries.

There are approximately 56,000 people living within the city limits of Petaluma with an additional 10,000 in the outlying rural areas. Petalumans and people of the surrounding area celebrate their connection to their town in many ways, including the Butter and Egg Day Parade, the River Festival, Dia de los Muertos activities, and the Lighted Boat Parade.

The Petaluma area is rich in recreational and cultural opportunities. Numerous state and regional parks and the Point Reyes National Seashore preserve the rugged beauty of the Sonoma Coast and Sonoma Mountains. Hiking, camping and mountain biking can be enjoyed year-round due to the temperate climate. Residents also enjoy local museums, theaters, and symphonies.

Education is a top priority for the community. One of the nation’s most highly regarded junior colleges, Santa Rosa Junior College, recently completed a new campus with extensive facilities and programs just north of the Old Adobe Union District border. The Petaluma campus of SRJC offers community enrichment classes, a solid transfer program to four-year institutions and many cultural and community events. Sonoma State University is a short drive to the north, and features the newly constructed Green Music Center and the Jean and Charles Schultz Information Center.

The Old Adobe Union School District benefits from the community contributions of our two local educational foundations, the Petaluma Educational Foundation and the Adobe Schools Kids Foundation. These foundations hold many local fundraising events, including the Petaluma Foot Race, which involves many Old Adobe district families and students.

The District

The District serves a student population of 1725 students in grades K-6. The four elementary schools in the district are: La Tercera, Miwok Valley, Old Adobe, and Sonoma Mountain and range in size from 270 to 500 students. In addition, the district operates preschools at Miwok Valley and Bernard Eldredge. A growing Dual Immersion Program is housed at Miwok Valley School.

Our four schools offer solid, standards based curriculum to all our students. Our strong and experienced teaching staff implements a wide variety of research -based strategies to support individual children. These strategies are continuously reviewed and revised through the work of our Curriculum Committee and lead teachers in the core curriculum areas. We have a particular emphasis on developing strong student writers through our own district-developed curriculum, the Wonders of Writing. Teachers are encouraged to develop their passions and strengths in providing enrichment instruction in the visual and performing arts, environmental education, technology, and sports. All schools have implemented Visual Thinking Strategies and Response to Intervention, and provide technology based individualized support to students and their families. Our students are achieving at higher levels and are better prepared for secondary school. This growth has been validated by observations from junior high teachers and by the wider community.

At each school, we focus on the healthy development of the whole child by providing strong academics in a nurturing, caring environment. Our children learn to be part of a supportive community and to collaborate with others. We work closely with the teaching staff of the receiving junior high for most of our graduates to ensure a smooth transition and strong curriculum articulation.

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 at the elementary level
  • Elementary principal experience
  • District office experience preferred
  • Masters degree required

Personal Characteristics

  • Provide inspired leadership
  • Open, approachable and transparent
  • Values all community members
  • Demonstrates a high degree of integrity and trustworthiness
  • Values the contributions of all employees
  • Exceptional communication skills
  • An active listener
  • Highly visible in the schools
  • Accountable and insists on accountability
  • Ability to deal with difficult issues, make decisions and stand by them
  • Active in the community
  • Dynamic educational leader
  • Maintains district focus on the best interests of children
  • Continues to learn and grow professionally
  • Values diversity; helps others appreciate differences
  • Dependable and consistent
  • Creative; Seeks alternative creative solutions
  • Sense of humor

Professional Skills and Abilities

  • Thorough understanding of K-6 curriculum and instruction
  • Demonstrated success in increasing student achievement
  • Fiscal expertise in oversight of the budget; maximizes resources
  • Provides staff training; expects quality teaching
  • Understands the changing demographics of district; provides leadership for staff and community in embracing change
  • Provides vision and expertise for increased use of technology in both instruction and administration
  • Supports alternative teaching methods that make the schools unique
  • Values parent involvement and seeks parent input
  • Insists on data driven decisions
  • Provides challenging programs for all students of all ability levels
  • Holds high expectations, will not accept mediocrity
  • Supports principals in providing instructional leadership for staff
  • Politically astute; brings a “world view” to the district
  • Maintains positive working relations with employee associations
  • Experienced in interest based bargaining


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 adviser:

Dr. Elaine Collins at 707-486-1576

Applications must be submitted on-line to:

DLAssoc.com Old Adobe Union School District
c/o Dr. Elaine Collins, Adviser
All applicants must provide the following items by the closing date, Friday, May 27, 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 Old Adobe Union 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 Friday, May 27, 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 interviews will be the responsibility of the candidate.

Salary and Contract Terms

The Old Adobe Union School District Board of Education will offer a multi-year contract of employment with a salary of $135,000 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

Marlene Abel, President


Mary Colbert, Vice President


Russ Wigglesworth, Clerk


Cecilie Stuelpe, Member


Anthony Bendik, Member


Applications Close

Friday, May 27, 2011 (5:00 p.m.)

Interviews are tentatively scheduled for June 24, 25 & 26, 2011.