Hayward chief named Berkeley schools superintendent

Dr Evans Picture

Donald Evans, most recently chief of the Hayward school district, is Berkeley’s new public school Superintendent.

The Berkeley Unified School Board on Wednesday night formally appointed Donald Evans as the new Berkeley superintendent of schools by approving his contract. Evans, who was has been superintendent of the Hayward Unified School District for the past two years, will take up the position on July 1.

Berkeley Unified Board President Karen Hemphill said the board had been impressed with Evans’ experience and achievements, as well as his reputation for forging fruitful partnerships and having a collaborative leadership style. In Hayward, Evans held two town hall meetings for the community every year, for example.

“When we look at his body of work, he ticks a lot of the boxes that we wanted in Berkeley,” Hemphill said.

One of Evans’ last tasks in Hayward was submitting a plan to the district to raise the achievement levels of African American students, an issue of direct relevance to Berkeley.

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.

Evans, who is originally from Lewes, Del., has previously worked in Compton, Oakland and East Palo Alto. He started out as an elementary school teacher in San Diego in 1988.

“I’m really excited about continuing the great work in Berkeley Unified and building on the strengths of the district to ensure that all of our students are successful,” Evans said in a statement issued last night.

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, who have been serving as acting co-superintendents since last fall, will resume their previous roles on July 1, respectively Deputy Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent, Educational Services. Former Berkeley schools Superintendent Bill Huyett retired last June.

Evans, who lives in Oakland and whose salary will be $229,500, will begin the transition to his new post with visits to several Berkeley school sites and departments before the end of the school year. He will also hold meetings with parent, staff and community groups over the summer months.

Hayward Chief is finalist for BUSD superintendent spot [04.19.13]
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

    A ‘nationwide’ search by Ray and Associates does not seem to cast a very wide net, we didn’t get out of the county. Next time, an ‘intergalactic’ search might result in more regional diversity.

  • The_Sharkey

    I think that depends entirely on how you define “diversity.”

    I think they got what they were looking for in that regard.

  • 2ndGenBerkeleyan

    Intergalatic search? I am picturing Jabba the Hutt as a future BUSD Superintendant.
    He promises to equalize the achievement gap between all life forms in the galaxy, with earthlings being one of the most underachieving groups…

  • guest

    To our new Superintendent, Dr. Donald Evans…

    These observations are based on personal experience over years of raising kids in BUSD:

    Racism is a convenient truth in Berkeley. The ‘truth’ is; It exists in Berkeley at all the same levels and places as it does most everywhere in America. The ‘convenient’ part is how effectively it’s used by partisan groups (most notably the teacher’s union) to justify programs, policies and actions which are purely self serving.

    Forever, enrollment fraud has been cast as a ‘poor black’ vs. ‘rich white’ issue. It’s not, but if it was, I’d be for it. If BUSD/BHS actually prepared black and brown kids from out of town ghettos to face the world with a decent high school education…as a human being with compassion and hope for our future, I would say “Let the practice stand”.

    But BHS does not provide that decent high school education to these ‘most vulnerable, under-served’ kids from Richmond, Oakland, San Pablo etc.. Instead they’re socially promoted each year with hope-killing reading levels and math skills. To pretend we’ve done our best for these kids by enabling them through the small schools programs is a terrible abuse of their trust.

    Enrollment fraud is not a ‘poor black’ vs. ‘rich white’ issue, it’s a power struggle between Berkeley’s teachers union, who want the largest enrollment possible, regardless of the law, to support the largest number of jobs for their members.

    Until recently, there was no organized opposition. There is now and it’s growing, Berkeleyside has had plenty of discussion on the issue. We who oppose enrollment fraud are not racially motivated, we’re motivated by the desire to provide our children, Berkeley’s Black, Brown and White children, the education we have voted and taxed ourselves to provide them.

    Finally, please be especially wary as you evaluate BHS faculty. There are many (mainly white) teachers acting with highly personal agendas. These self anointed arbiters of unique brands of social justice fan the flames of racism by ‘creating’ a divide. A divide between those they call ‘hill kids’ (any student, white or asian, taking an AP course) and those kids they’ve adopted from other districts.

    Dr. Evans you have a great opportunity ahead of you. Few ever get the chance to do so much good for so many. Above I see a handsome face with clear eyes. May you bring that clarity of purpose to BUSD.

  • The_Sharkey

    Great comment, and 100% accurate for what I’ve experienced in Berkeley.