(BERKELEY, CA) – After conducting an extensive national search for a new Superintendent, the Board of Directors of Berkeley Unified School District have unanimously selected a finalist for the position, Dr. Donald Evans. Dr. Evans currently serves as the Superintendent of Hayward Unified School District.
“After searching all over the country for a strong instructional leader who is the best fit for Berkeley, the Board believes we have found our next Superintendent right next door in Hayward,” said Board President Karen Hemphill. “Dr. Evans came highly recommended from multiple sources, and we were even more impressed once we had an opportunity to meet with him and hear what his vision and experience could bring to our community.”
In early February the Board retained the services of Ray and Associates, Inc. to assist in the search for a new Superintendent. There were seventy applicants for the position. The Board reviewed the top candidates, selected semi-finalists for interviews in late March, and narrowed the field to finalists in early April. As part of the application and interview process, the consultants conducted a thorough and independent background check of each finalist. Now that Dr. Evans has been unanimously identified as a finalist, the Board will conduct an additional in-depth review through a site visit of his current district before considering a contract.
“The Board has been quite pleased with the process, including the recruiting and careful vetting of candidates. Our consultants listened to the Board, to staff, and to the community and created a clear picture of who would constitute a top candidate for Berkeley,” said Board Member Judy Appel. “We believe we have found the best person to be the next Superintendent of Berkeley Unified.”
“It is easy for me to fully embrace Berkeley’s vision because I completely believe in it,” said Dr. Evans. “Every day counts for all of our students as we prepare them for the skills they need to be competitive in a global economy. I am very passionate about equitable outcomes for all students.”
If hired, Dr. Evans would be expected to begin work on July 1, 2013.
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Donald Evans, Ed.D.
Dr. Donald Evans is currently the Superintendent of Hayward Unified School District, where he has focused on the three R’s of “rigor, responsibility and results.” He has also built strong relationships with community members and stakeholders throughout the city. These efforts helped lead to last year’s passage of Hayward’s Measure G parcel tax, which protects critical education programs (such as math, reading, writing, and science labs), enhances library services, funds technology and college preparation programs, and allows Hayward to better attract and retain qualified teachers. Dr. Evans has also worked with the community on the Hayward Promise Neighborhood Partnership, a collaboration with multiple local agencies to provide a continuum of cradle-through-college-to-career solutions that includes both academic services as well as family and community supports.
Dr. Evans brings 26 years of experience as an educator. Prior to being hired by Hayward, Dr. Evans served as the Associate Superintendent of Secondary Education in Compton Unified School District. During Dr. Evans’ time in Compton, students made considerable academic gains – e.g., the middle schools saw an average increase of more than 11% in their CST scores in both Mathematics and English Language Arts after having stagnated for several years. Dr. Evans also brought in advanced high school courses and expanded the music program. In addition, his schools saw a reduction in truancy and in expulsion rates, as well as an increase in teacher retention and in proficiency rates for English learners.
Prior to his tenure in Compton, Dr. Evans served as an Elementary School Area Superintendent in Oakland Unified School District. (The position of Area Superintendent is similar to the position of Assistant Superintendent in BUSD; the primary job of both positions is the supervision of principals.) During his tenure in OUSD, he spearheaded the District’s successful effort to implement all-day kindergarten. He also played an instrumental role in the professional development of elementary school administrators under his purview.
Dr. Evans has also served as a principal at Burckhalter Elementary School in Oakland before becoming an Area Superintendent, and, prior to that, as the first principal of the East Palo Alto Charter School in the Ravenswood City School District. In his one year leading Burckhalter, the school made the highest gains in English Language Arts out of all Oakland elementary schools; by the end of his two years at East Palo Alto Charter School, the school was the highest performing school in Ravenswood.
Dr. Evans began his teaching career in San Diego Unified School District in 1988 at Silver Gate Elementary School where he taught fourth, fifth, and sixth grades. During his 10-year tenure in San Diego he also served as a GATE teacher, a teacher coach, and a vice principal.
Throughout his career, Dr. Evans has focused extensively on curriculum and professional development. In San Diego, for example, he created the GATE curriculum for his classes. More recently, Dr. Evans has led numerous trainings on the conversion to the Common Core State Standards, with a particular focus on providing professional development to support administrators in the transition.
Dr. Evans earned his Doctorate in 2010 from the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Berkeley, in association with the Leadership in Educational Equity Program. His dissertation topic was on “Understanding Why Principals Leave or Stay in Challenging Schools.” He received his Masters of Education from United States International University, and his Bachelors of Arts from University of Delaware. Dr. Evans is originally from Lewes, Delaware.