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July 30, 2008 > Board expedites superintendent search

Board expedites superintendent search

Submitted By Rick LaPlante

Eager to move forward and intent on maintaining the direction taken during the past four years, the New Haven Unified School District's Board of Education has initiated a process that could identify a new Superintendent by October.

The Board last Wednesday night appointed veteran New Haven educator David Pava as Interim Superintendent, effective Sept. 1. He will replace Dr. Pat Jaurequi, who was confirmed this afternoon as Superintendent of the San Juan Unified School District in Sacramento County, nearer her home. To facilitate a smooth opening to the school year, she will remain in New Haven through Aug. 31.

The Board also voted Wednesday night to use the California School Boards Association's (CSBA) executive search service to immediately begin the process of finding a permanent superintendent.

"The Board's job is to find the right person to continue the great work that Dr. Jaurequi has done over the past few years, and CSBA is best qualified to move quickly and best positioned to identify outstanding candidates," Board President Kevin Harper said.

Mr. Harper emphasized that the Board will seek input from District parents and employees.

"This will be an inclusive process," he said.

A CSBA search consultant is tentatively scheduled to meet Aug. 12 with the Board, to finalize contract expectations, procedures and a timeline. CSBA will have eight weeks to identify, recruit and bring together a pool of candidates.

Screening interviews are tentatively scheduled Oct. 16-17 and the Board is tentatively scheduled to interview two or three finalists and make a decision Oct. 18.

"We're sorry to lose Dr. Jaurequi, of course, but the Board is very confident about the District's ability to move ahead," Mr. Harper said. "We have great leaders in the system, Mr. Pava will make an excellent Interim Superintendent, and the process for finding a permanent superintendent is now under way."

Dr. Jaurequi, who became New Haven's Superintendent on October 25, 2004, said she is leaving the District "with very mixed emotions."

"I wasn't looking to leave, and I've turned down opportunities when I've been recruited in the past," she said. "San Juan offers a unique opportunity, though. The district's needs are a good fit for my skills. My husband and I have our permanent home not far from there, and he just started a job in that area."

San Juan Unified is about three times the size of New Haven, serving more than 40,000 students in 72 schools in Sacramento and several of its suburbs.

"At this point in our lives and this point in my career, I feel this is what's best for my family," she said. "It's difficult, though, because I've come to love the New Haven community, and this District always will be special to me

"We did some excellent work together, and with the support of the Board of Education and the excellence of the District leadership team, the principals and their teachers and classified workers and this wonderful community, I'm very confident that excellent work will continue."

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