Dr. Ruth Perez, The Superintendent of the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District for the five past years, recently announced she is leaving the district to become Deputy Superintendent at the Los Angeles Unified School District, the second largest in the Nation with an enrollment of over 600,000 students.
Her first day at LAUSD will be September 15th and her last day at NLMUSD will be September 11th.
She came to NLMUSD in 2009 after a nationwide search to replace Ginger Shattuck who retired after 15 years on the job.
She served as chief academic officer at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District in North Carolina the previous three years.
In her new role she will work directly under the tutelage of LAUSD Superintendent Dr. John Deasey and will oversee area superintendents in the district and will be in charge of instruction and leadership.
Perez spoke with me over the telephone Wednesday morning.
Decision: “I didn’t seek out this position. The opportunity came to me. It really wasn’t about the money. Financially, it’s not much difference. This is a lifetime opportunity. When in a lifetime do you get a chance to have an impact on 650,000 kids? It took me a while to decide after prayer and reflection. I truly loved every day I showed up work here (NLMUSD). This is a phenomenal district. It’s hard to leave; I have a good gig here and I love serving the two communities.”
Accomplishments: “We have a hard working, emotionally-connected, dedicated staff that has achieved a lot these last five years. As a leader, you provide the focus and everyone else does the work. Our graduation rate has continued to climb, the dropout rate continues to decline and our English Learner Program is one of the top performing (in the State) at 84% (efficiency). I feel so good about our district.”
Future: "I am honored, and go into my new job humbly. I’m leaving a wonderful district, but look forward to new challenges. It’s all about giving to needy kids. I know from personal life experience that a solid education is the ticket to get out of poverty; to turn kids into contributors. That’s how our country works.”