Claremont Insider: CUSD Appoints Old Hand Interim Superintendent: Litigation Magnet

Thursday, February 17, 2011

CUSD Appoints Old Hand Interim Superintendent: Litigation Magnet

Drudge Siren Pictures, Images and Photos

CUSD announced Thursday night the appointment of Gloria Johnston as Interim Superintendent. She will be paid the same money as Terry Nichols was getting--according to his contract $196,650 per annum. Shockingly, she was a consultant to the headhunter hired by the District to conduct the search.

It's just like President George W. Bush hiring Dick Cheney to find the best-qualified person to be his vice-presidential nominee and Dick Cheney coming up with, well, Dick Cheney.

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The press release is reproduced below (the release is not on the CUSD website as this is written Thursday night).


The Claremont Unified School District Board of Education voted to appoint Dr. Gloria Johnston as their Interim Superintendent of Schools at their February 17, 2011, Board meeting. Dr. Johnston will begin her service on Monday, February 21, 2011, replacing Dr. Terry Nichols who will become Superintendent in Duarte.

Dr. Johnston has devoted over forty years to a career in education. Her years of service in pre-kindergarten through high school education included roles as a teacher, principal and central office administrator. She retired from public education after serving twelve years as the superintendent of schools for the Banning Unified School District and the West Contra Costa County Unified School District. She subsequently served as Dean of the School of Education at National University, a private, nonprofit institute of higher learning with headquarters in San Diego, California. Dr. Johnston has worked in urban, suburban and rural school districts in Illinois, California and Caracas, Venezuela. As a coach and mentor, Dr. Johnston facilitates meetings, provides professional development for principals, central office administrators, superintendents, and school boards. The current focus of her work is on systemic strategies that lead to improving student achievement and closing the achievement gap.

Throughout her career Gloria has been an invited speaker at state and at national professional conferences, served on state and national educational and research committees, and has been awarded major professional development grants. She is coauthor of three books, Eight at the Top: A View Inside Public Education, a collection of stories about the work of school district superintendents, Effective Superintendent-School board Practices: Strategies for Developing and Maintaining Good Relationships with Your Board, and The Superintendent's Planner: A Monthly Guide and Reflective Journal.

Dr. Johnston earned her Ph.D. in Public Policy Analysis from the University of Illinois at Chicago, her M.S. in Bilingual/Bicultural Education and her B.S. in Humanities (magna cum laude) from Northern Illinois University. She has been living in San Diego, California, close to her two children and three grandchildren; however, Gloria will be relocating to Claremont while serving as the Interim superintendent for Claremont Unified School District.


When Johnston was Sup. of the West Contra Costa District, one of her middle school students made national news. He was brutally beaten in a school locker-room by another student and an 18-year-old non-student. There was a video that got national notice, the school district was sued, and two years later settled for the usual--an "undisclosed amount".

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The vote to approve her appointment was 4 to 1, Steven Llanusa dissenting. We guess he's still not satisfied with the Thursday meeting night and would rather have Monday. Maybe she will at least get another book out of this--in addition to the lavish salary. It might contain tips on the handling of difficult board members.