Stockton Unified announced its pick for superintendent pick Friday, following a three-month accelerated search and years of controversy at the city’s largest school district.

Michelle Rodriguez, the former superintendent of Pajaro Valley Unified School District in Watsonville, has been chosen out of 25 candidates, according to a statement from the district.

If her contract is approved Tuesday at the district’s governing board meeting, Rodriguez will start the job at the beginning of the next school year on July 1.

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Governing Board Vice President Kennetha Stevens, who chaired the district’s superintendent search committee, described Rodriguez as “a highly qualified and innovative Superintendent.”

Rodriguez, who spent seven years as the the leader of Pajaro Unified, a school district of nearly 20,000 students and the largest in Santa Cruz County, announced Friday that she’d be leaving her position to work for SUSD, according to the area’s local news reports.

According to the Santa Cruz Sentinel, Rodriguez has been an educator for 31 years, with a resume that includes nearly every certificated education position, including a dual immersion teacher, literacy coach, reading recovery teacher, staff developer, principal of two elementary schools, and assistant superintendent of K-12 teaching and learning at Santa Ana Unified School District.

In 2016, Rodriguez was named superintendent of Pajaro Unified and became the district’s first bi-literate superintendent.

Rodriguez takes over the helm from interim Superintendent Traci Miller, whose been serving in the position since the Stockton Unified’s previous — and often controversial — superintendent, John Ramirez Jr., left the district last summer a little more than a year into his three-year contract.

Stockton Unified has been accused of having a “revolving door” of superintendents. The district has had about 15 interim and permanent superintendents in the last 30 years. The district has also recently faced two scathing San Joaquin County Civil Grand Jury reports in as many years, a state investigation that found evidence of fraud in the district’s financials and is being investigated over that possible fraud by the county’s district attorney.

It’s safe to say that Rodriguez has some serious things ahead to deal with at Stockton Unified.

“I am excited and optimistic about the change and good work to come,” SUSD Board President AngelAnn Flores said Friday in a statement from the district


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1 Comment

  1. Sounds like a good choice. She has three things going for her: 1. As an educator she has a solid background. 2. As an administrator she has a history of budgetary experience, and 3. She’s already being targeted by 209 Times.

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