The Mt. Diablo Unified School District hopes it has concluded its nationwide search for a new superintendent after offering the position to Dr. Robert A. Martinez following board interviews with four candidates this month.
Board president Joanne Durkee says, “Dr. Martinez emerged from the finalist interviews as the ideal candidate for this important leadership role.” She told The Pioneer that he “has the right temperament to work with our many stakeholder groups. He can establish rapport with each group while also being a strong decision maker.”
Durkee added that Martinez was “so excited” when she called him to say he was the Board’s choice. Martinez is currently the Assistant Superintendent of Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District. Pending a site visit to his district and final contract negotiations, the Board is expected to approve Martinez’ appointment at their Aug. 12 meeting.
“Many highly-qualified educators applied for the superintendent position,” said Durkee. “The Board of Education made its decision with input gathered from key stakeholder groups regarding the qualities of our next superintendent. Based on the feedback received from more than 500 parents, staff and community members, we sought someone who is a collaborative, energetic leader, who values our accomplishments, and wants to continue our efforts to provide the quality education our students deserve and our families expect.”
“After a rigorous screening and interview process, Dr. Martinez was chosen as the best fit. He brings the skills, intellect, heart and passion to lead our District into the future.”
Martinez has served the FSUSD for 32 years. A native of Baldwin Park, he holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, a Master of Arts in Education from UC Davis, and an Educational Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Management from Drexel University. Previous to serving as an Assistant Superintendent, he was a school psychologist, assistant principal, principal and director.
“I am honored that the Board of Education has selected me as the finalist for superintendent,” said Martinez. “Mt. Diablo has shown a clear commitment to creating learning environments that are based in equity, to assisting each student with excelling academically and socially, and are focused on readying students for college readiness, careers and as citizens of their community.”
Martinez appears to share one trait with his predecessor Nellie Meyer, who recently took over the same position at the Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District. Meyer was ever present on social media and looking at Martinez’s Twitter account he is a regular poster as well.
Summer bells to ring soon
It seems like school just recessed for summer, but the 2019-20 school year is now only weeks away.
The first day of school is coming soon:
• Carondelet and De La Salle begin Aug. 14 with freshman orientation Aug. 12
• Clayton Valley Charter starts Aug. 13 with freshman orientation Aug. 6-9.
• Contra Costa School of Performing Arts begins its fourth school year Aug. 14 with new student orientation Aug. 6-9.
• MDUSD begins Aug. 15 for its kindergarten through 12th grade sites.
• Most parochial and private schools in the area begin the weeks of Aug. 12 and 19.
Clayton Valley Charter faces unique double task this year
Clayton Valley Charter High School will seek renewal of its charter from the Contra Costa Board of Education and is also going through is WASC process during this school year. The WASC review is done every six years while most charter authorizations are for five years.
CVCHS is beginning this upcoming school year with the biggest senior class—600 students—in the eight years it has been a charter.
Executive Director Jim Scheible is starting his second year in charge of the Concord school with the task of guiding the 2200-member student body while also overseeing the two major accreditation processes. He was hired by the school last August after the school’s first executive director Dave Linzey resigned that spring.
Linzey had a contentious relationship with many stakeholders and was involved in multiple litigations and controversies. Among the charges against the school under Linzey was the high turnover of faculty and staff. Only a handful of faculty members are not returning this fall.
Scheible says the school is using the dual accreditation processes to update and implement new programs. CVCHS had by-law changes approved 4-1 by the County last month. Those included a revamping of its board composition which addressed a concern by many stakeholders during Linzey’s tenure.
The executive director adds that the charter is still trying to settle its long-standing financial issues with MDUSD over its annual payment to the district for use of the campus facilities that are owned by MDUSD.