Saugus Union names new choice for school district Superintendent


The Saugus Union School District Governing Board announced today that Dr. Colleen Hawkins has been selected as the next Superintendent of the Saugus Union School District. Dr. Hawkins’ selection is subject to a vote by the governing board to approve her employment contract at its upcoming regular meeting on May 15, 2018.

“Thank you to the Saugus Union School District Governing Board for entrusting me with the position of superintendent. The tradition within SUSD is one of excellence in elementary education and I look forward to continuing that tradition with this exemplary organization,” Dr. Hawkins said, “I’m most excited to meet the students, parents, staff and community members who create the Saugus Union School District family and to becoming part of the Santa Clarita area.”

Hawkins is currently the assistant superintendent of Educational Services for Compton Unified School District having started there in September 2015. Prior to CUSD, Dr. Hawkins held the same position with the West Covina Unified School District. She was a director and coordinator in Corona Norco Unified School District between 2002 and 2013 and began her career in education at Fontana Unified School District as an elementary school teacher in 1993.

“On behalf of the governing board, we are very excited to introduce Dr. Hawkins to the Saugus Union School District community,” said Board President Christopher Trunkey “her experience as an educational leader is exceptional and worthy of our trust to lead this school district.”

“All of the candidates we interviewed were outstanding. Dr. Hawkins rose to the top not only because of her 26 years of experience in public education but also because of her depth of experience with diverse student populations and 21st century instructional strategies that will help all of  our students realize their potential,” Trunkey added, “the governing board also wants to thank our school district community for their input throughout this process.”

Dr. Hawkins received her Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership from the University of Southern California, and her Master of Arts in educational administration and undergraduate degrees from California State University, San Bernardino.

Beginning July 1, 2018, Dr. Hawkins will succeed retiring Superintendent Dr. Joan Lucid. Dr. Lucid has had a distinguished career with the district over 37 years beginning as a classroom teacher in 1981, and then as a project coordinator, principal, assistant superintendent of education services and the last 7 years as superintendent.

“I have enjoyed my tenure with the district and look forward to welcoming Dr. Hawkins to our Saugus family. I know she will lead the district to even greater achievements,” stated Dr. Lucid.

Following the announcement of Dr. Lucid’s retirement on January 9, 2018, the governing board began the process of selecting a new superintendent at its regular meeting on January 16th with presentations by three executive search firms that specialize in superintendent searches. At its regular meeting on February 6, the board unanimously selected the firm of McPherson & Jacobsen as its search consultant. McPherson & Jacobsen has been conducting national searches for governing boards since 1991 and has placed over 500 superintendents and other officials across the United States.

McPherson & Jacobsen works in partnership with the California School Boards Association.

Working with the consultants, the governing board set a schedule of meetings and began seeking input from the community and different stakeholder groups. Beginning on February 22nd, the governing board conducted an online survey and received 138 responses. The Governing Board scheduled 9 meetings on March 5 and 6 for McPherson & Jacobsen to meet with the community at-large, teachers, classified staff, assistantsuperintendents, confidential employees, district staff, students and community leaders. Approximately 100 people attended those meetings.

At a special meeting held on April 16th, the governing board reviewed applications and selected 6 candidates to be interviewed. Over the weekend of April 28th and 29th, the governing board held a series of meetings and interviews with each of the candidates. Each candidate was also interviewed by a panel of stakeholders that included administrators, teachers, classified staff and community representatives selected by governing board members. The feedback from this panel was provided to the governing board members for consideration in their deliberations.

The above information was provided to The Signal via  news release.

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