Position Details
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District: Montebello Unified School District
Position/Title: Superintendent
Salary: Competitive and negotiable
Closing Date: Monday, March 19, 2012

The Position

The Board of Education of the Montebello Unified School District (MUSD) is seeking qualified candidates to apply for the position of district superintendent. The successful candidate will be a well-rounded professional who has a thorough knowledge in the priority areas of curriculum and instruction and has a demonstrated record of improving student achievement in a diverse community. The board seeks an individual who is personable and approachable and is able to commit to the high visibility that comes with occupying a high profile position in a district and community where active participation in activities and events is expected. That individual will also be someone of the highest integrity and will have a demonstrated ability to build trust among staff and community at all levels. The board is committed to providing direction for the district and the superintendent while allowing him/her to implement established policies and run the operational aspects of the school system. Ideally then, the superintendent must have the wisdom and the patience to learn the culture of the school district and the community before initiating changes. While MUSD does not require major changes, the superintendent should be capable of assessing the need for innovation and reform in all areas of the district's programs, including the curriculum-instruction-assessment-intervention paradigm.

The Community

The colorful and romantic history of the MUSD community dates back to the days of the Franciscan missionaries. Today, the MUSD community is at the very center of the greater Los Angeles megalopolis. The Montebello area, with a population of approximately 175,000, is justifiably called "the hub of the wheel" of the industrial-commercial complex. The district is framed by the 5, 60, 710 and 605 freeways, and has convenient access to every business, cultural, recreational and entertainment venue that Southern California has to offer, while beaches, mountains and desert all are within easy reach.

Cities comprising the MUSD are considered urban, although the residents will tell you that there is still a small-town feel to the district, and they take pride in that atmosphere and make efforts to maintain a sense of "community" that is pervasive at the MUSD.

The District

Montebello Unified School District (MUSD) is the third largest school district in Los Angeles County. It is located 15 minutes from downtown Los Angeles and serves a diverse student population from the cities of Bell Gardens, Commerce, Montebello, and portions of Downey, Los Angeles, Monterey Park, Pico Rivera, Rosemead and South San Gabriel. MUSD has a total enrollment of approximately 32,000 K-12 students and 30,000 adult learners in eighteen elementary schools, six intermediate schools, four high schools and four adult schools. Approximately 94% of MUSD students are Hispanic, roughly 3% are Asian or Pacific Islanders, 2% are Caucasian, and 1% are other ethnicities.

The district is characterized by a rigorous curriculum with a wide variety of academic programs, strong parent involvement and quality teachers and staff. Montebello Unified has been recognized at both the state and national levels for its efforts to ensure success for all students.

A captivating and unusual feature of the district is the longevity – and loyalty – of its faculty and staff, which provides for a commendable stability. An impressive number of faculty and staff are MUSD graduates and maintain residence in the community, and their loyalty and commitment to the school system and community are palpable. These factors have contributed to a remarkable degree of cooperation between the bargaining units and the district during the very difficult economic times that school systems in California are experiencing. The MUSD is solvent despite not having to lay off teachers or classified staff, and both trustees and bargaining unit representatives express a desire to sustain the trusting and cordial relationship that currently exists.

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

  • Experience as a superintendent or district level leader in a similar school district required.
  • Experience as a site administrator desirable.
  • Master's Degree required; doctorate desirable.
  • Successful experience in a multi-cultural setting required.
  • Variety of educational experiences pre-kindergarten through twelfth grades desirable.
  • Bilingual ability (English-Spanish) desirable.

Personal Characteristics

The ideal candidate is someone who:
  • Is a "people person" with public and human relations skills and a sense of humor.
  • Is a warm, approachable leader who is able to handle the visibility of a high profile public figure in a close-knit district and community and welcomes the opportunity for involvement in schools and community.
  • Exhibits genuine concern for staff and parents and treats everyone with courtesy and respect.
  • Has a history of collaborative leadership and consults with stakeholders who will be affected by a decision before the decision is made.
  • Exhibits honesty, integrity, sincerity and forthrightness in dealings with all the district's constituencies.
  • Is a "bridge builder" of positive relationships with staff and community.
  • Is an articulate communicator who is effective with both written and oral communications.
  • Demonstrates the same accountability that he or she demands of all district employees.
  • Is a proactive problem solver who deals with issues before they become magnified.

Professional Skills and Abilities

The ideal candidate is someone who:
  • Has excellent knowledge of curriculum and instruction and understands how to evaluate the effectiveness of the curriculum-instruction-assessment-intervention paradigm in an accountability-oriented school district.
  • Has a demonstrated record of improving student achievement, preferably in a multi-ethnic setting.
  • Has the wisdom and the patience to learn the culture of the district and community before initiating changes.
  • Understands and respects the role of the board and the value of the governance team concept.
  • Is a visionary leader who can work with the board to refine/develop short and long-range plans for the district.
  • Is able to provide options to the board in their decision making role and assure trustees that they are operating within legal guidelines in all times.
  • Understands and can work with board dynamics to assist trustees in arriving at the best possible decisions.
  • A leader who can work diplomatically with the multiple agencies and personalities that comprise the community.
  • Will welcome and promote parent involvement in the district.
  • Understands collective bargaining and the value of a positive professional relationship with employee organizations, and has a demonstrated record of developing or sustaining that sort of relationship.
  • Has a versatile background with some experience in all the major dimensions of management needed in a large urban school system.
  • Is able to build strong partnerships with all segments of the community, including business and local government agencies.
  • Is a good listener who can respond to questions in laymen's terms, without using educational jargon.


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 Dr. Jack Gyves at 707-529-1295. Any contact with board members in an attempt to influence the selection process will be considered a breach of professional ethics and result in the applicant's removal from the process.

All applicants must provide the following items by the closing date to be considered:

  • A completed Application Information Form. Please complete as instructed; do not complete by stating "see attached resume". The Application Information Form is to be completed via Dave Long and Associates page at DLAssoc.com.
  • A personal letter of application stating reasons for interest in the Montebello Unified School District superintendent position.
  • A resume providing biographical background information about educational preparation, experience and achievements.
  • A placement file and five (5) current letters of professional reference describing the applicant's performance in previously held positions.
Interested applicants must submit papers or reference letters, along with a resume, completed application form and letter of application online to DLAssoc.com by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, March 19, 2012.


Selection Procedure

A professional screening committee 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 and studying the report of the screening committee, the board will select and interview the top candidates. Interview dates are tentatively scheduled for April 5 – 7, 2012.
Travel expenses for those candidates selected for the interviews will be the responsibility of the candidates.

Salary and Contract Terms

The Board of Education of the Montebello Unified School District may offer a multiple year contract, with a salary that is negotiable and competitive, to the successful candidate, based on that individual's qualifications and experience.

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

Hector Chacon, President


Marcella Calderon, Vice President


Gerri Guzman, Member


David Vela, Member


Ed Chau, Member


Applications Close

Monday, March 19, 2012 (5:00 p.m.)