An administrator from a Sacramento-area school district has been named the finalist to replace the retiring superintendent of East Palo Alto's Ravenswood City School District.
Gloria Hernandez currently is assistant superintendent in the Twin Rivers Unified School District, where she has worked since July 2008.
Hernandez also has worked as a teacher and as a principal. She holds a doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies from California State University at Sacramento.
Members of the Ravenswood board said they will visit Twin Rivers "to gather facts and information and meet with members of the public" before finalizing a contract with Hernandez, who would replace Maria De La Vega.
Twin Rivers is a K-12 district where about 80 percent of students are considered low-income and 37 percent are English learners.
The district was among the subjects of a 2012 Sacramento County Grand Jury report calling for change of school-district leadership due to allegations of illegal activity, particularly within the district's police operations.
Although Hernandez has worked in the district since 2008 it was not clear when she was named assistant superintendent.
Hernandez has more than 20 years' experience in California schools and has "extensive experience providing educational leadership," according to a press release issued by Ravenswood.
Ravenswood trustees spent about $23,000 to hire the consulting firm Leadership Associates to conduct the search. Leadership Associates is made up of many retired school superintendents, including former Palo Alto superintendent Jim Brown.
Leading the Ravenswood search are former Franklin-McKinley School District superintendent Larry Aceves, former San Jose Unified School District superintendent Don Inglesias and former San Diego County Office of Education assistant superintendent Rich Thome.
Ravenswood is a pre-K-8 district serving about 4,000 mostly low-income and English-learning students in East Palo Alto and eastern Menlo Park. When they reach high school, students are bused to various campuses in the Sequoia Union High School District including Menlo-Atherton High School, Woodside High School and Carlmont High School.
The district is currently in closed-door negotiations with the Sobrato Organization, an office developer, for a possible sale or exchange of acres of district-owned land near University Avenue and U.S.y 101 -- currently the location of the district's administrative headquarters and ancillary operations -- for land across town near the intersection of Pulgas Avenue and Bay Road.