After a "highly competitive" nationwide candidate search that involved 40 applicants and input from focus groups and surveys of students, staff, parents and representatives of elementary school districts, the governing board of the Sequoia Union High School District has chosen Mary E. Streshly as the new superintendent, the district announced March 31.
Ms. Streshly, currently an assistant superintendent at a high school district in Campbell, will take over leadership of the Sequoia district on July 1, succeeding Jim Lianides, who's retiring in June from a position he's held since March 2010.
Ms. Streshly has a bachelor's degree from the University of California at Berkeley, a master's degree from San Diego State University and a doctorate from San Francisco State University.
Her career includes experience as a teacher, department chair, administrator and coach. She has coordinated an English Language Learner program and currently oversees curriculum, instruction, special education, student services and technology at the Campbell Union High School District.
The Campbell Union district enrolls about 7,700 students at six high schools.
The Sequoia district has about 9,000 students and stretches from the southern border of San Mateo County to Belmont. The district has four comprehensive high schools, including Menlo-Atherton and Woodside high schools, along with East Palo Alto Academy (a charter school), Redwood High (a "continuation school" to give students at risk of not completing their coursework another chance at a diploma) and an adult education school.
Sequoia board President Carrie DuBois described Ms. Streshly as a "strong educational leader (who) embraces a student-centered approach to education" and who brings communication and community building skills and the ability to manage a complex organization. Ms. Streshly's experience, approach and vision "demonstrate that she is someone who possesses all of these traits and is the right person to lead this district through the many opportunities and challenges in the years ahead," Ms. DuBois said in a statement.
Ms. Streshly said she was honored and thrilled to serve "such an outstanding district," adding that she looks forward to "being a very visible and active part of this community."
"I believe deeply that the Sequoia Union High School District is uniquely positioned to be the testimonial for the rest of the nation for how to provide a world-class education in a diverse community" so that every youth graduates college- and career-ready to contribute to American democracy and a global society, Ms. Streshly said.