Position Details
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District: Desert Sands Unified School District
Position/Title: Superintendent
Salary: Competitive and negotiable
Closing Date: Monday, December 5, 2016

The Position

The Board of Trustees of the Desert Sands Unified School District is seeking a superintendent with strong school district and community leadership skills who is committed to academic excellence for all students. The ideal candidate will be someone who has a history of excellent leadership with exceptional communications skills and who has the ability to work with the Board to create a future vision and then enlist all segments of the District community in creating the future and creatively addressing problems. Demonstrated experience in employee relations and building of a positive collaborative and forward thinking culture are essential. Experience with diverse communities and the ability to understand and effectively work with all segments of the diverse community is critical for the successful candidate. The successful candidate must be committed to the belief that along with the Board, they will collaboratively lead the District into an exceptional future.

The Community & District History

The Desert Sands Unified School District was founded in 1966 with the consolidation of the many districts comprising the Indio public schools. Currently, the District enrolls almost 29,000 students in 19 elementary schools, 7 middle schools, 7 high schools and one Early Childhood Center with students living in the communities of Indio, La Quinta, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, Bermuda Dunes and Rancho Mirage.

With an operating budget of $316,000,000, the District is considered to be the “Gold Standard” of the Coachella Valley attracting more than 2,600 employees. The District is proud of major programs that include Career Technical Education, International Baccalaureate, AP Capstone, Student Assistance Program, Schools of Choice (STEM, Health, Arts, Math/Science, Charter). Many of the schools have been recognized as CA Distinguished Schools and Title 1 Achieving Schools and a Model Continuation High School. For the first time in December 2014, the election of Board Members was by Trustee Areas.

Located in the Coachella Valley approximately two hours east of Los Angeles, the Desert Sands community is a short drive from many arts, cultural and entertainment attractions in Palm Springs, Riverside and San Bernardino and is within driving distance of the Pacific Ocean as well as area mountain resorts.

District Educational Foundation

The Desert Sands Educational Foundation is a separate 501c-3 that serves the District. The Foundation website is


Desert Sands Unified District Socio-Economic Indicators

District Enrollment
Ethnic Data
% Free/Reduced
29,000 (2016-17)
2% African-American
2% Asian
3% Other
73% Hispanic/Latino
20% White

Selection Criteria

The following criteria represent standards to be used in the evaluation of applicants and in the selection of the superintendent.

  • Currently serving as superintendent, deputy, associate or assistant superintendent
  • Doctorate optional
  • Current driver’s license for state of residence

Application Procedures

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

Joe Condon 310-901-3749,
Sheri Loewenstein 714-305-7923,
Juan Lopez 951-662-2468,
or John Roach 760-802-7049

Applications must be submitted online to:
Desert Sands Unified School District
c/o Juan Lopez, Sheri Loewenstein, Joe Condon or John Roach
Dave Long Executive Search Services

All applicants must provide the following items by the closing date of Monday, December 5, 2016 (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 downloaded via Dave Long & Associates web page at DLAssoc.com.
  • A personal letter of application stating reasons for interest in the Desert Sands 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 arrange to have all of the above items submitted online to the DLAssoc.com website not later than 5:00 PM on Monday, December 5, 2016.

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 professional screeners, the Board will select and interview a select number of top candidates.

From the individuals interviewed, the Board will select a limited number of candidates for the final interviews and select a finalist. 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 Desert Sands Unified School District Board of Education will offer a competitive and negotiable salary, plus fringe benefits to the successful candidate, based on the individual’s experience and qualifications. The Board intends to offer 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 Education

Term Expires
Michael Duran, President November 2018
Matt Monica, Member November 2016
Donald Griffith, Vice President/Clerk November 2018
Gary Tomak, Member November 2016
Wendy Jonathan, Member November 2016

Applications Close

Monday, December 5, 2016 (5:00 p.m.)