On Monday, the school district released the name of Dr. John Bowes, currently the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources at the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District (PVPUSD), as their preferred candidate for the next superintendent of the Davis Joint Unified School District (DJUSD).
On Wednesday of last week, without naming the finalist, the board sent out a press release confirming that the board “has now narrowed the search to a finalist and will conduct further inquiries as needed. The Board’s goal is to make a formal announcement of its decision and approve a contract at its regular meeting on June 2.”
Before that, three trustees will travel to Southern California today (Tuesday, May 31, 2016) to meet with Dr. Bowes and his colleagues. Because three board members are traveling, the meeting must be noticed, thereby forcing the district to disclose the meeting.
Board President Madhavi Sunder said, “The Board is very pleased with the search process, which identified many strong and diverse candidates. Dr. Bowes is an exceptional candidate who also seems a perfect fit for our community.”
She continued, “He has earned accolades from teachers, staff and parents in his home district and shares the DJUSD’s commitment to excellence, inclusion, social justice and equity. He is committed to supporting each child to reach her highest potential. The Board will use the visit to Palos Verdes Peninsula to learn first-hand more about the fine work Dr. Bowes has brought to students and employees.”
Dr. Bowes earned his Ed.D. from UCLA and his B.S. in Finance and Management from Virginia Tech. Currently the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, Dr. Bowes has previously served in Los Angeles Unified School District in many capacities, including the Director of Labor Relations, elementary school principal, and K-2 bilingual teacher. A former Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala, Dr. Bowes is fluent in Spanish.
The release said, “The visit to Dr. Bowes’ school district will be an important part of affirming the selection.”
In late January, Superintendent Winfred Roberson was named a finalist for a position at another district and in mid-February officially announced his resignation. Former administrator Kevin French was named as interim superintendent, but the board has moved quickly to find a permanent replacement.
The press release from the school district details what they call “an extensive search” where they had “brought forward 19 strong and diverse candidates, including 7 current superintendents, 9 assistant or associate superintendents and 3 education-related private sector candidates.” The board conducted interviews of six of those candidates on Tuesday and Wednesday of last week.
“Following the initial interviews, the Board narrowed the search to 3 finalists and conducted follow-up interviews with those candidates. All of the candidates were of high quality and those who reached final consideration brought tremendous skills and resources to the interviews,” the district said on Wednesday.
The release continued, “The Board expressed its appreciation to the students, parents, staff, and community members who provided valuable feedback to Leadership Associates (the superintendent search firm) and to the Board. The position description, which was developed on the basis of that input, was used to guide reference checking and the identification of interview questions.”
“We’re very excited to have received so many highly respected candidates with such strong skill sets. Davis is a special place with a strong and educated group of parents and a national reputation. We are seeking a highly knowledgeable, experienced, collaborative, and visible leader with an excellent track record in his or her former district and who is well liked by all colleagues. We want someone who is passionate about the potential of all students and works tirelessly toward raising expectations toward accelerating achievement for each and every student in the District,” said Board President Madhavi Sunder.
Board Vice President Barbara Archer added, “We are looking for a systems thinker who will lead us through our Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) here in the District with a focus on local control and equity for all students in the District. And we are looking for a strong instructional leader who combines vision with action, and has the keen ability to bring teams together around a vision for students.”
The board will finalize contract discussions and conduct a site visit in the finalist’s home district before an appointment is made. “We are confident in the skills, talents and experience of our finalist and look forward to concluding this process and making a formal appointment,” Ms. Sunder said on Wednesday.
Once again, the board affirmed that its goal is to make a formal announcement and approve a contract at its regular meeting on Thursday, June 2.
—David M. Greenwald reporting