A little more than seven years after he signed on as superintendent of the Sequoia Union High School District, James Lianides will be stepping down. His last day on the job will be June 30, 2017, he says in a Nov. 1 announcement to district staff.
With his departure, Mr. Lianides completes 39 years as an educator, much of it on the Peninsula. He headed schools in Mountain View and Half Moon Bay and came to the Sequoia district in 2008 as an assistant superintendent from the Pacifica School District, where he was the business official and superintendent.
Mr. Lianides lives in and is a native of Redwood City and is an alumnus of Woodside High School, also the alma mater of his two sons.
His mother worked at Woodside High as a secretary, he says. He is bilingual in Spanish, an ability he used on occasion, including at community meetings in East Palo Alto.
"I will always view my years in the Sequoia Union High school District as the highlight of my career," Mr. Lianides says in his statement. "Our students represent a wide socio-economic and racial diversity and our focus has been to serve all students well.
"I am proud of the efforts to promote greater equity and opportunity for our underserved students. Many of our students move on to well known universities and many are the first generation in their family to graduate and go on to college."
Mr. Lianides has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of California at Berkeley, a master’s degree in educational administration from San Jose State University, and a doctorate in education from a program run by UC Berkeley and California State University.
He taught elementary school for 10 years, most of it at Garfield School in Redwood City. He was principal at elementary and middle schools in Mountain View before heading to Pacifica, he says.
"Making a very important personal decision such as this is always difficult and conflicting," he says in the statement. "I am proud to have had the opportunity to serve in the Sequoia Union High School District and to be associated with a such a strong community of staff, parents, and students. I will especially miss working with the dedicated, professional staff throughout our district."
Mr. Lianides says he plans to spend more time with his family and friends, possibly traveling more, and that he may re-engage with education.