Position Details
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District: Santa Clara Unified School District
Salary: Competitive and negotiable
Closing Date: Friday, April 5, 2013


Applicants: This superintendent search requires an extra step. You must email short answers to two additional questions to the advisor. Your application will be considered incomplete without these answers.

Please keep your answers to approximately one-half page per question.

Email answers to Barry Reed, [email protected], including your full name and the email address you used to apply for the position.

Question #1. Please state your experience working with a socioeconomically, ethnically and linguistically diverse population similar to ours in Santa Clara Unified School District. Give some specific curricula, programs, materials, and instructional methods you have found to be successful in raising student achievement and closing the achievement gap. Please include your educational philosophy related to those programs.
Question #2. What is your experience working with data to achieve results, including in the realm of human resources? How have you involved different segments of the educational community (Board, district, site level, etc.) to get buy-in to this process? How have you handled the resistance that inevitably comes with change?

An Invitation to Lead

The Board of Trustees of the Santa Clara Unified School District seeks a visionary leader to inspire extraordinary results in a multicultural, multieconomic community that often receives worldwide attention as Silicon Valley Central. SCUSD seeks to eradicate the achievement gap as a national leader and to have our public schools become seen as desirable schools of choice competitive with any other schooling options. SCUSD commits to ensure local students leave 12th grade college and/or career-ready. Our new superintendent will need to embrace our tri-city community that blends wealth and Title One neighborhoods and who will lift the District to new levels of achievement in our continuing quest for exceptional excellence.

The Position

Our ideal candidate must possess exceptional interpersonal skills in multicultural communication and have an inclusive management style that welcomes and encourages divergent thinking, participation and involvement. Demonstrated proficiency in identifying best practices in curriculum and instruction and related research is essential as well as a passion for data analysis and a culture of accountability. The applications of those selected for interviews must demonstrate significant understanding of SCUSD’s publicly-available recent CST and AYP data and will address detailed aspects of the District’s statistical performance in the letter to the Board, including strengths and challenges. The finalist must share how to provide every student, from the most academically gifted to the most challenged, with real opportunities to reach his or her maximum potential, who can discuss the details of SCUSD’s achievement trends and challenges and who is prepared to courageously advocate for students’ opportunities to thrive.

The ideal candidate must understand the unique challenges of Santa Clara Unified School District, including the very high priced housing market, a high percentage of renters, the extraordinary job opportunities and demands of local high tech employers and the significant demographic differences between older residents and resident children. The Board of Trustees commits to working effectively with the superintendent to build strong relationships throughout the organization that will respond to the changing dynamics of our community. There will be much support to prioritize a quick, dynamic close of the achievement gap and to attract ongoing public school enrollment of high-aspiring students.

The District

Santa Clara Unified School District has 17 neighborhood elementary (K-5) schools, including 14 neighborhood K-5s, 1 neighborhood K-8 and 2 open enrollment K-5 schools with very high wait lists (Milliken (c. 750) and Washington Open (c. 100)). The District has 3 middle schools, 2 conventional high schools, 1 continuation high school, 1 independent study high school, and a middle college program that enables students to earn an AA degree concurrent with a high school diploma. SCUSD also offers an award-winning Adult Education Program and many preschool programs. In addition to our traditional and advanced placement academic programs, we boast a robust CTE program with nine career academies: Culinary, Hospitality and Management, Computer Technology, Business Technology, Biotechnology, Networking, Health, Construction and Automotive Technology. Our students participate in AVID, a wide variety of sports programs with top quality facilities, and "GAINS" (Girls Achieving In Nontraditional Subjects) programs.

We have a diverse student population of approximately 15,136 with a graduation rate of 80%. The student population is made up of 36% Hispanic, 24% Asian, 23% Caucasian (including Eastern Europe and Middle East), 8% Filipino, 4% African American, 1% Pacific Islander, 1% Native American/Alaska Native and 3% two or more races. Nearly 30% of our students are classified as English language learners, with more than 30 languages spoken in homes. Almost half of SCUSD students qualify for free-and-reduced lunch, many of whom are concentrated in the ten of 14 neighborhood elementary schools that qualify for Title One funds. Approximately 17% of SCUSD students qualify for special education services.

SCUSD is a Basic Aid district with pockets of extraordinary wealth as well as 2/3 of our elementary schools that are Title One eligible. Our 2012-2013 general fund operating budget exceeded $130 million. We are proud of our dedicated staff totaling 1477 including 877 certificated and 600 classified employees. We have three employee bargaining units represented by UTSC (certificated), AFT (Adult Ed) and CSEA (classified).

The Community

Our schools are located in Santa Clara County, with nearby Interstates 101, 280 and 880 providing a southern gateway to the San Francisco Bay Area. The San Jose Mineta International Airport is located within the boundaries of the school district. The District also includes Santa Clara University, Golden West Baptist College, Mission Community College and multiple nationally-known extension programs. The District serves 80% of Santa Clara, and about 30% of Sunnyvale, in addition to the fast-growing communities of north San Jose.

The district is located within the “heart” of Silicon Valley known as the Golden Triangle, home to the global headquarters of many of the world’s largest technology firms. Our District Office is about an hour away from the coastal beaches of Santa Cruz and Monterey, two hours from Sacramento and four hours away from the Lake Tahoe and Yosemite regions.

The voters of our supportive community passed three bond measures over the past fifteen years, whose benefits we continue to enjoy, and a parcel tax. Measure B (1997) provided $145 million for renovation and repair; Measure J (2004) provided $315 million to build new facilities and to modernize existing facilities; Measure H (2010) provided $81.1 million for solar installations, school renovations, and property acquisition for new schools we will need to meet anticipated student population growth. Bond and state monies together enabled SCUSD to construct performing arts centers and state of the art science and sports facilities at our high schools. In May 2012, our voters passed Measure A, a parcel tax measure generating approximately $2.3 million per year for five years, which together with Proposition 30, has enabled SCUSD to end furlough days and resume a full calendar for the 2013-2014 school year. The District may need additional voter support to respond to continued local population growth.

Selection Criteria

The following criteria will be used to evaluate applications and select the superintendent.

Professional Experience and Preparation

  • Appropriate administrative credentials and academic training are desirable, but outstanding candidates with non-traditional leadership backgrounds are encouraged to apply.
  • Academic training to quickly eliminate SCUSD’s achievement gaps is essential. The successful applicant must demonstrate ability to lead for widespread student proficiency in core subject areas and to provide students opportunities to accelerate learning based on readiness.
  • Master’s degree required

Personal Characteristics

The successful candidate will:
  • Possess the qualities of personal integrity, honesty, courage and forthrightness in dealing with staff, parents, students, community and the board.
  • Demonstrate commitment to participate in many aspects of the community to obtain residents’ respect and cooperation, and to lead the effort to improve student proficiencies.
  • Exhibit a demeanor of respect for individuals with diverse opinions, and an attitude of openness to new ideas.
  • Demonstrate high expectations for self, staff, and students.
  • Develop trusting relationships throughout the system by holding self, staff, students, parents and community members accountable.
  • Recognize and celebrate success and excellence.
  • Articulate a clear vision with achievable goals for the future of the district, including identifying and effectively addressing underlying challenges and weaknesses.
  • Recognize the strengths inherent in a diverse community and student population, while effectively meeting the challenge of creating a system that meets diverse needs.
  • Demonstrate strong data analysis and interpretation skills, and the ability to extract meaningful information from data to drive academic and financial decision making.
  • Provide trustees with all relevant data so they can fully understand the District’s strengths and weaknesses and accurately assess progress toward achieving District goals on a continual basis.

Professional Skills and Abilities

The successful candidate will:
  • Demonstrate excellent communication skills –oral and written – to ensure effective communication with staff, board, and community.
  • Communicate regularly and openly within broad demographics of the community.
  • Be an accessible, active listener with a commitment to the district and the area.
  • Work well with board members individually and collectively to support and enhance effective governance practices.
  • Use the power of the board and staff to accomplish district goals
  • Understand the dynamic interplay of politics and economics in the Cities of Santa Clara, Sunnyvale and San Jose to strengthen the relationships with City and County leaders necessary to support our district's success.
  • Employ sound research-based processes in decision-making, especially when addressing difficult and challenging issues in the best interests of students.
  • Have strong curriculum leadership skills to develop, implement, and evaluate sound research-based instructional techniques to improve student achievement at all Levels.
  • Lead the district to develop a successful 21st century strategic plan that addresses the district’s current and expected demographics.
  • Recognize the importance of extra-curricular programs (i.e., sports, music, drama, etc.) and the role they play to foster a well-rounded experience for our students and community.
  • Demonstrate a robust understanding of public school district finance, a commitment to continuing our district's track record of fiscal responsibility and accountability, and the creativity, sophistication and savvy needed to identify and tap potential new funding sources.
  • Proactively engage and support parents who are not yet involved in district-wide decisions by increasing parent education and opportunities geared to the needs of all segments of our diverse population, to garner greater participation.
  • Have a reputation as a leader who follows through and "walks the talk" of setting and meeting challenging goals with dedication, integrity, openness, and commitment to achieve.
  • Know with full confidence that all students are able to achieve proficiency in Math and ELA in a school district as diverse as ours, and have a realistic plan to lead SCUSD toward that goal.


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 adviser: Barry E. Reed at 916.212.9905. Applications must be submitted on-line to:
DLAssoc.com Santa Clara Unified School District c/o Barry E. Reed.
All applicants must provide the following items by the closing date, April 5, 2013 (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 Santa Clara Unified School District superintendent position
  • A resume providing biographical background information about educational preparation, experience, and achievements
  • At least three (3) current letters of professional references describing the applicant's performance in previously held positions

It is the applicant’s responsibility to arrange to have placement papers or reference letters forwarded in time to meet the April 5, 2013 (5:00 pm), deadline.


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 candidates for interviews between April 26 and April 28, 2013. The board will select multiple candidates for the final interviews which will occur April 28, 2013.

Any applicant who contacts a member of the board with the intent of influencing the board’s decision will be disqualified.

Travel expenses for those candidates selected for interviews will be the responsibility of the candidate.

Salary and Contract Terms

The Santa Clara Unified School District Board of Trustees will offer the successful candidate a salary that is competitive and negotiable including a multi-year contract.

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.

Board of Trustees

Term Expires
Dr. Ina Bendis, Member 2014
Mr. Jim Canova, Member 2014
Mr. Albert Gonzalez, Vice President 2016
Dr. Christine Koltermann, President 2014
Mr. Andrew Ratermann, Member 2014
Dr. Michele Ryan, Member 2016
Mr. Chris Stampolis, Member 2016

Applications Close

Friday, April 5, 2013