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Rowland USD Board Chooses New Superintendent as Educational Leader

ROWLAND UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT CHOOSES NEW SUPERINTENDENT AS EDUCATIONAL LEADER

ROWLAND HEIGHTS, CA – SEPTEMBER 9, 2014 – The Rowland Unified School District Board of Education announced at tonight’s meeting in a unanimous vote that Julie Mitchell, Ed.D., Chief Personnel Officer from Tustin Unified School District, has been appointed as the new Superintendent of Schools for Rowland Unified. After an extensive five-month search process, the Board chose Mitchell for her broad and established instructional leadership roles across all grade levels, strength in collaboration and focus on increasing student learning and achievement. Her start date is October 1, 2014.

            “The Board looks forward to welcoming Mitchell to our organization and to the families that we serve,” said Rowland USD Board President Heidi L. Gallegos. “Dr. Mitchell stood out among the highly qualified field of candidates for her passion and proven track record in making student-focused decisions that support academic success. She has in-depth expertise in instructional strategies and models using technology, innovative professional development programs, and breadth in curriculum. Her strength as a communicator and a collaborative leader focused on building positive relationships will continue Rowland’s successes. We want to thank our entire community who played an active role during this very public process, and we believe that Mitchell will be a visionary leader and a great match for our staff, students and community.”

Mitchell has 26 years of experience in public education. She has served as an instructional aide, middle and high school teacher, assistant principal, principal and assistant superintendent of human resources in school districts including Anaheim Union, Capistrano and Irvine. For the past seven years as the chief personnel officer – a top-level district administrator in Tustin Unified – Mitchell was involved in the development of programs focused on curriculum, student learning and achievement, personnel leadership, professional learning communities, technology, college preparedness and signature instructional practices, such as Reader’s Workshop, Writer’s Workshop and Cognitively Guided Instruction (CGI). She also assisted with the passage of two bond measures: a $95 million school facilities modernization bond and a $135 million new technology bond for K-12 students and 21st century classrooms throughout the school district.   

Mitchell has a strong personnel background with extensive experience in employee relations and contract negotiations and the creation and implementation of comprehensive professional development and leadership programs for teachers, classified support staff and management. She also established a partnership to implement the Cotsen Foundation Program transforming capable educators into gifted teachers at schools throughout Tustin USD. Her leadership has been recognized at the local, regional and state levels as the 2011 Orange County Personnel/Human Resources Administrator of the Year by the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA), Region 17, and as the 2012 State Negotiator of the Year by ACSA. Mitchell has a bachelor’s degree in social science from San Diego University, a master’s degree in education from the University of La Verne and received her doctorate in administration/management from Pepperdine University. Mitchell is married with three children. 

“I am excited and honored to have been chosen as the new superintendent and look forward to working collaboratively with the school board, staff, parents and community,” Mitchell said. “I’m committed to providing all students with an exceptional educational experience which will assist them with becoming productive members of an ever-changing global society.”

The Rowland USD Board was committed to a rigorous superintendent search process and with providing the community clear and comprehensive information and input that began last April. The firm Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates was hired and conducted focus groups, community meetings and an online survey to provide extensive input on the desired qualities of the next superintendent. Consistent themes shared included a person who held a deep understanding of the teaching/learning process and the importance of educational technology, a leader who was approachable/accessible, a leader who could articulate a clear and consistent message, who believed in public education, who was collaborative and someone who could build trust. More than 50 applicants applied for the position.

During the superintendent search process, the Board appointed John A. Roach, Ed.D, as Interim Superintendent in June.  Roach will continue to serve until the end of September and will work with Mitchell for a smooth leadership transition.

The Rowland Unified School District is proud to serve 15,000 students in the communities of Rowland Heights, Walnut, La Puente, City of Industry and West Covina at our award-winning schools. More than 5,000 adults (16+) are also served by the Rowland Adult and Community Education School. For more information about Rowland Unified, the community can download the free Mobile App for iOS and Android phones/devices that has news, school calendars, a safety Tip Line, high school sports news for Nogales and Rowland High Schools, and helpful parent and District resources. Visit www.RowlandSchools.org or call (626) 965-2541.