The Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) Board of Education announced tonight that, by a unanimous vote of 7-0, it will enter into negotiations with Jon R. Gundry as the final candidate for the new Superintendent of Schools. Mr. Gundry, who has served as interim superintendent of the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) since 2010, will replace Superintendent Edwin Diaz, who will retire on June 30 after four and a half years of leading the District.
“Our four-month search for a new leader to continue the momentum of accelerating student achievement is at a close,” said Board President Renatta Cooper. “Jon is an accomplished leader who can focus on moving forward and working together for our children’s future, so that all children learn and our students are prepared for college and careers.”
As the chief executive officer of LACOE and secretary of the County Board of Education, Mr. Gundry was responsible for ensuring the financial and academic stability of 80 school districts that serve more than two million preschool and school-age children, and for overseeing $16 billion in school district funding and a staff of nearly 4,000. He was appointed interim superintendent by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors following the retirement of Darline P. Robles last summer. Previously as deputy superintendent, he had been a vital member of LACOE’s Executive Cabinet, developing policy and overseeing strategic projects and initiatives.
“I am honored to be selected to lead this community in making further academic progress and addressing the challenges its students and families face,” said Mr. Gundry. “I look forward to working with families and members of the communities to inspire and prepare students for their future.”
Prior to joining LACOE in February 2008, Mr. Gundry served in the Houston (Texas) Independent School District. His tenure there included 12 years as an administrator, ultimately serving as an executive principal overseeing 17 campuses in a high school feeder system. He also taught English, Spanish and ESL for middle and high schools in the district and in other locales.
“The search firm presented an outstanding slate of candidates to the Board and after lengthy and careful deliberation, the Board reached a majority decision on the person it felt best embodied most of the characteristics members of this community indicated they wanted in a new superintendent,” said Board Vice President Ed Honowitz.
Today’s selection culminates a four-month process that began in March and included outreach to parents, staff, and community leaders to identify the qualities they wanted to see in the next superintendent. The Board retained the executive search firm Ray & Associates to recruit and select candidates; final candidate interviews began last weekend. The search firm and Board of Education relied heavily on the results of the community input process when reviewing the strengths of the candidates and finalists in the deliberation.
Mr. Gundry earned a bachelor’s degree from Northern Arizona University and a master’s degree in school administration from Houston Baptist University.
PUSD operations will be managed by a team of senior level district managers before Mr. Gundry formally begins his tenure.