After more than three and a half years at the helm of the Newhall School District, Superintendent Paul Cordeiro announced he will retire at the end of the school year on June 29.
“I am extremely grateful to have served an outstanding school District for a total of nine years,” Cordeiro said. “The Newhall Governing Board’s expectation of academic excellence has fostered a staff culture that singularly focuses on raising student achievement. It has been a privilege to be a part of a team that has worked tirelessly for the students over many years.”
Cordeiro said he is retiring from the district this year in order to spend time with his three grown children, volunteer for youth-serving organization and pursue interests that include cooking, gardening, fitness and writing.
“I embrace the transition to a slower pace, understanding that there will be a period of adjustment,” he said. “I think I’m up to the challenge.”
Newhall School District Governing Board President Phil Ellis said the board will miss Cordeiro, but understand his choice to retire.
“He will be missed. He’s been an instrumental part of the district both as an assistant superintendent of instructional services before and now as superintendent,” Ellis said. “He’s been a very instrumental addition to the team and we were saddened to hear of his decision, but we understand why he is making it now and support it.”
Cordeiro was named superintendent in February 2015 when he replaced retiring NSD Superintendent Marc Winger.
He also was a part of the Newhall district for five years, from 2000 to 2005, where he acted as the district’s assistant superintendent of instructional services and helped lead an instructional program that provided multiple California Distinguished School awards, a National Blue Ribbon Award and Title I Achieving Schools awards.
Cordeiro left his assistant superintendent position with the Newhall district in 2005 to become superintendent of the Carpinteria Unified School District where he remained for nearly 10 years.
Prior to joining the Newhall district in 2000, Cordeiro served as the assistant superintendent of the Santa Barbara County Education Office’s curriculum and instruction division from 1992 to 1999.
Cordeiro credited much of his success in the Newhall district to the forward-thinking teachers who use best practices in the classroom, to the site administrators and district management team who work together and on behalf of the district’s students and families, and to the parents and community volunteers “whose contributions to the district are innumerable.”
“Without them, we would not be attaining the level of success our Governing Board expects,” Cordeiro said. “Newhall will always have a special place in my heart and I am confident that my successor will work with all of our stakeholders keep Newhall on top.”
The Newhall Governing Board is expected to begin a search for Cordeiro’s successor immediately. The district is expected to work with a superintendent consulting firm and have assistance from Cordeiro as they look for his replacement, according to Ellis.
As superintendent of the Newhall district, Cordeiro oversees 10 elementary schools that have earned notoriety for being named Gold Ribbon Award schools, Blue Ribbon Award schools, Honor Roll schools and Title 1 Achieving Award schools.
He led the district’s charge to improve test scores through standards-based instruction and college and career readiness lessons.
In 2017, the district outperformed all other local districts in its state standardized test scores, with 70.22 percent of students in third grade to sixth grade who met or exceeded standards in ELA and 66.15 percent who met or exceeded standards in math.
“I attribute our ongoing success to our culture of excellence, nurtured over many years and based on a philosophy of continuous improvement. We raise performance, celebrate our results and work on doing better,” NSD Superintendent Paul Cordeiro said. “It’s an effort that never ends. I am grateful to our entire Newhall team for being all-in for the kids.”
Under his leadership, the district used its $60 million Bond Measure E funds, approved by voters in November 2011, to complete school site renovations, construct new classroom buildings and implement new technology in the district.
Measure E also supported the $4.3 million renovation of the Newhall Family Theatre for the Performing Arts, which Cordeiro saw through its design inception to its completion this year.
Cordeiro also worked to bring arts education into NSD with a district-wide instrumental music program and through community arts partnerships.
He also focused his attention on equity, to ensure that the district was adequately serving its large population of English Learners.
“We have a big obsession to get them up to the next level achievement,” Cordeiro told The Signal in January. “I don’t like the idea of destiny. Language is not destiny any more than poverty is. Wherever you are, we are going to move you up and we are going to do that through really good instruction.”
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