Hayward chief is finalist for BUSD superintendent spot

Donald Evans. Photo: Hayward Unified School District

Donald Evans. Photo: Hayward Unified School District

A national search for a new Berkeley schools superintendent has ended practically right next door in Hayward with the announcement Friday morning that Donald Evans has been chosen by the School Board as its preferred finalist for the position.

Evans has been superintendent of the Hayward Unified School District since 2011, and has previously worked in Compton, Oakland and East Palo Alto. He started out as an elementary school teacher in San Diego in 1988.

Karen Hemphill, Berkeley School Board president, said Evans’ range of experiences — with elementary and secondary students, and struggling students as well as high-performers — and his long history in California set him apart from the pack.

“He also is a person who’s very well-regarded in his current district as well as where he had been formerly,” Hemphill said. “During the background check, people described him as collegial and talked about his leadership style. People like him. He has had to deal with some difficult situations and, while we may not have the same issues here in Berkeley, it certainly does speak to how he would handle complex situations.”

Hemphill said Evans has also been through a successful parcel tax process — Measure G last year in Hayward — noting that Berkeley’s parcel tax will be up for renewal in 2016. 

According to Friday morning’s announcement from the district, Evans’ selection by the board was unanimous. The process began in early February when the Board hired Ray and Associates to assist in the search for a new superintendent. The district received 70 applicants for the position, invited semi-finalists for interviews in March, and narrowed the field to finalists in early April.

“As part of the application and interview process, the consultants conducted a thorough and independent background check of each finalist,” according to the statement. “Now that Dr. Evans has been unanimously identified as a finalist, the Board will conduct an additional in-depth review through a site visit of his current district before considering a contract.”

If hired, Evans would be expected to begin work on July 1, 2013.

Evans was not available for comment Friday, but said, according to the district’s statement, that he’s passionate about “equitable outcomes” for all students, and said that “every day counts” in the effort to prepare youth “to be competitive in a global economy.” He wrote: “It is easy for me to fully embrace Berkeley’s vision because I completely believe in it.”

According to his biography, curriculum and professional development have been key areas of interest for Evans throughout his career. In 2010, he earned his doctorate from the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Berkeley, in association with the Leadership in Educational Equity Program. His dissertation topic was on “Understanding Why Principals Leave or Stay in Challenging Schools.” He received his master’s in education from United States International University, and his bachelor’s from University of Delaware. Evans is originally from Lewes, Del.

Last August, the district announced plans to name Edmond Heatley as the new school superintendent, but Heatley withdrew his application after facing scrutiny about his political views. School administrators Javetta Cleveland and Neil Smith have been serving as acting co-superintendents since the fall. Former Berkeley schools Superintendent Bill Huyett retired last June.

School board launches new superintendent search [02.13.13]
School board forum displays strong anti-Broad views [09.28.12]
BUSD board vows to be more inclusive in new chief search [09.20.12]
Heatley withdraws candidacy for BUSD superintendent [09.18.12]
Likely new Berkeley school superintendent under scrutiny [09.05.12]
Berkeley school district names likely superintendent [08.31.12]

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  • guest

    The original purpose of BSEP taxes has been morphed by BUSD’s edu-labor into a funding program for the fraudulent enrollment of students from other districts.

    How can BSEP renewal be used to return Berkeley’s schools to Berkeley residents and their children? By making the School Board understand today that renewal is contingent on substantial and verifiable progress in ending enrollment fraud and returning fraudulently registered students to their own districts, at all grade levels.

    This will show us where our trusted educator’s loyalties lie. With Berkeley’s kids or somewhere else. 2016 is tomorrow in political planning time. Email the School Board now:

  • guest

    So we screw our kids over to teach the school district a lesson???

  • guest

    “Punish the children”…what a laugh! Our children are being punished by BUSD. BUSD denies every Berkeley kid the quality education they could have if BUSD wasn’t trying to offer “academic asylum” to every kid in the Bay Area.

    “Take away their funding”…What a bigger sinister laugh! BUSD has been taking Berkeley’s kids funding away for year, using it grow fat on the kids from other districts while our kids suffer too large classes and materials shortages they should never have to.

  • guest

    BUSD has been screwing Berkeley’s kids out their BSEP funds since Slemp came here and before. No more. No more “academic asylum” to glorify and feed BUSD at the expense of other school districts. BTV will be asked to record and televise all School Governance mtgs. and BSEP mtgs. Get ready for sunshine!

  • guest

    BSEP has become a 12 year scholarship for out of district kids!

  • PragmaticProgressive

    13, but who’s counting?

  • 3rdGenBerkeleyan

    ours and everyone else’ kids (richmond and oaklands kids)

  • 3rdGenBerkeleyan

    or just let the fraud continue…

  • guest

    Berkeleyans are passionate and creative. We are willing to stand up for a cause. It should clear we want the best education for our children. BUSD has made that impossible by endorsing enrollment fraud through their actions.

    We will have BSEP programs in OUR schools for OUR kids paid for by our self levied parcel tax.

    There is no reason we cannot put OUR OWN BSEP MEASURE ON THE BALLOT with the controls and enrollment reform necessary to assure our children get the education they deserve and WE ppay for.

    We need to start the discussion of a “PLAN B-SEP”. Once crafted to reflect Berkeley’s parents goals for enrichment and future development of BUSD we will have a cause to fight for. An alternative to the one promoted by the back-slapping political and labor parties who have manipulated this program.
    “Measure “A”, NO!,

    “PLAN B-SEP” YES!!!!

  • Doc

    The false enrollment machine will fight very hard to keep the achievement gap high.

  • The_Sharkey

    Good point. I’m guessing there’s an additional salary bump, but bennies could be a big part of it.

    What would pension + benefits for an employee of this level in Berkeley tack on to that salary? $75k? $100k?

  • guest

    Very true, Doc. But we have at least one advantage: To vote on our parcel tax you actually have to be a Berkeley RESIDENT. If BUSD ran the our schools that way, we wouldn’t need to have this discussion.

    2016 VOTE “PLAN B-SEP”!

  • guest

    Nothing is as powerful as an idea whose time has come. Except maybe that idea powered by a few determined people. Maybe you’re an organizer, a campaign consultant, a PR person etc. who can help with whatever it takes to begin building momentum.

    2016 is far enough away to build a new consensus on BUSD’s real mission (education, not social work.) And to reaffirm who BUSD is tasked with educating (Berkeley’s kids.) 2016 is also far enough away that the parents of fraudulently enrolled kids can return them to their own school districts voluntarily and with the least disruption.

    If you’re actually a Berkeley property owner with kids in BUSD schools; attend a school governance meeting or a BSEP meeting and see if your priorities and needs are being represented. Talk to your kids about what happens at school, how crowded it is, who shares a desk or textbook.

    Maybe then you’ll want to contribute your voice to the call for reform. If we miss this chance it will mean ten more years of building schools we don’t need for kids that are not ours, at the same time denying Berkeley’s kids the full educational enrichment we pay dearly for.

    Tying BSEP tax renewal to BUSD reforms is an idea whose time came long ago. Now it’s time we step up for Berkeley’s children, my children and yours.