School Board confirms new superintendent José Banda, who visits West Seattle tomorrow

May 16, 2012 at 9:16 pm | In Arbor Heights, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | Comments Off

Tomorrow morning, Arbor Heights Elementary staff and students will be among the first community members to be able to congratulate José Banda on his new job as Seattle Public Schools Superintendent. The School Board voted 7-0 tonight to confirm him, and – as reported here Tuesday – his visit continues tomorrow with a 10 am stop at AH. Here’s the district’s announcement of tonight’s vote:

The Seattle School Board Wednesday night voted 7-0 to approve a contract for José Banda to become the next Superintendent of Seattle Public Schools. The contract is online at: http://bit.ly/SuperintendentContract2012

Banda, the current Anaheim City Schools Superintendent, will start his new job in Seattle July 1. Banda addressed the Board and public after the vote, saying that he is excited to start work in Seattle and become a part of the community.

“I am honored and humbled to be selected to come here and do this work together,” Banda said, adding that every decision will be made with an eye toward what is “best for our students.”

Banda, who has served as Anaheim City Schools Superintendent for the past four years, was chosen following a national search for a superintendent who exhibited the desired characteristics and traits defined by the community, including: a visionary, inspirational leader; an instructional leader who has a proven track record; a knowledgeable manager and an effective communicator.

School Board Director Sherry Carr noted that she and Director Betty Patu traveled to Anaheim May 5-6 to validate what board members heard during the superintendent interview process. During their visit, they discovered that Banda “is a highly respected Superintendent. This respect cut across every individual we spoke with. Senior staff members said he is terrific to work for and is the best mentor that they have ever had,” Carr said.

When the board members visited Anaheim City Schools classrooms, “Students were on task, well behaved and very engaged in their learning,” Carr added. “Teachers, staff and students all seemed very happy.”

Interim Superintendent Susan Enfield said: “I want to join the board, staff and community in welcoming José Banda as the new Superintendent for Seattle Public Schools. I care deeply about the students, families and staff here in Seattle so I am pleased Mr. Banda has accepted this leadership position. I have been firm in my commitment to the Board and to Mr. Banda to offer whatever help I can in the weeks ahead to ensure as smooth a transition as possible.”

During Banda’s time with Anaheim City Schools, the District saw increased academic achievement for all students, including English Language Learners. In addition, the District narrowed the achievement gap and 19 of 24 schools met their school-wide Academic Performance Index (API).

Banda spent 13 years as a secondary administrator, including eight years as a high school principal before becoming the Superintendent of the Planada School District from 2002-2005. Before Anaheim, he was the Deputy Superintendent at Oceanside Unified School District.

He has also served as a high school counselor, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources and board member for Salida Union School District. He brings over 30 years of experience in the field of education.

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