As she prepares to depart, Mount Diablo Unified School District Superintendent Nellie Meyer reflected on some of the highlights of her six years here.
Effective July 1, she will become superintendent of the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District.
Q: What were some of the key actions you took when you arrived?
A: I worked immediately to earn the trust of the community and our wonderful employees. Trust is the glue that keeps a school district functioning. Without it, you cannot do the important work necessary.
Mt. Diablo had a history of negative news coverage, adult infighting and too many diversions from student success. I found the district and our wonderful schools had truly dedicated staff and people who, contrary to the news, loved and cared for their students. I think we have reframed the story about MDUSD, showing that the community embraces supporting our students in order to build a stronger community.
Q: What strikes you as you look back?
A: I am so proud of what we all created as a team and the hard work it entailed. I am proud of our students’ growing academic success, the unique educational experiences we created here in MDUSD – including middle college, international baccalaureate and our magnet schools. And I’m grateful for the confidence the community showed in our district by passing a facilities bond with a 70 percent approval rate.
Yesterday, several students came by my office to bring letters and to wish me goodbye. They told me they felt valued in our district and had many people who contributed to their success. I do not know if I would have had the maturity as a high school student to see the many parts included in public education or the wisdom to thank those who dedicate their lives to education.
I love being part of a culture where teachers and students feel welcome and comfortable visiting and are participating fully in their own education.
Q: What have been some of your “aha” moments?
A: I have an “aha” moment with every school visit. Our young people are poised to make a big difference in this world. If we take the time to listen, we can share optimism for our collective futures.
Q: Do you have some favorite memories you would like to share?
A: There are so many. The one that brings the most personal joy was the ability to hand my daughter her diploma at her high school graduation. That once-in-a-lifetime experience is one for which I will be eternally grateful.
Q: What’s stood out to you about the community?
A: This is a community that cares deeply for the students of our district. The community has close ties with our schools and remains dedicated to their success. Wherever I go, people come up to me and share where they graduated from and how much they love our schools. And I thank our wonderful team, our community and business partners who have been part of creating this culture. I have been honored to serve this district and appreciate the community’s support during my time here.