Thursday, August 12, 2010

It's official: Francisco Escobedo is new CVESD superintendent

See all Francisco Escobedo posts.

I'm happy to see that the process of choosing a superintendent has become transparent and wide-ranging at CVESD.

It was less so in 2002, when Lowell Billings was selected without any search at all.

Lowell Billings is a board member at The Accelerated School ("TAS") in Los Angeles, where he hired his long-time boss, Patrick Judd, a CVESD board member who was voted out in 2008. At the time he was hired at TAS, Judd had accumulated an interesting employment history. In early 2008 Judd went on a mysterious leave from his job as superintendent of Mountain Empire Unified School District. A Mountain Empire board member told the press that Judd was on sick leave, but Judd said he was not on sick leave. Judd has never publicly revealed the reason for his sudden exit from his job. A few months later, Judd retired without ever going back to work. Interestingly, TAS is now conducting a secretive search for a permanent replacement for Judd. According to the board minutes, an anonymous "recommended CEO candidate" was interviewed by the TAS board on July 28, 2010.

Chula Vista elementary district gets new leader
By Ashly McGlone
August 11, 2010

CHULA VISTA — A new superintendent has been named at the Chula Vista Elementary School District. Francisco Escobedo, 49, will officially take the reigns of the largest elementary school district in the state in January.

According to the district website, the incoming superintendent will begin job shadowing in September.

Trustees approved the hire in a 4-0 vote on Wednesday. Board President Russell Coronado recused himself, citing “the public and professional relationship that I currently have with the finalist for superintendent.”

Escobedo is currently Coronado’s boss at the neighboring South Bay Union School District.

“Thank you for this honor to serve this great district,” Escobedo told the board. “You will not be disappointed in selecting me, so thank you for your confidence.”

Since the board named Escobedo as a sole finalist on July 27, some have questioned the selection because two of the five members on a search committee work for Escobedo.

Vice president of the school board Larry Cunningham addressed the recent coverage by The Watchdog, saying Coronado in “no way tried to influence anybody” in Escobedo’s selection.

Escobedo began teaching in 1988 in the South Bay Union School District, later moving on to National School District and Chula Vista Elementary School District. In 2008, he earned a doctorate in educational leadership through a partnership between University of California, San Diego and San Diego State University.

Escobedo will replace Lowell Billings, who will retire in December. No salary or start date has been set for the incoming superintendent. Billings’ annual salary is $247,000.

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