The Sonoma Valley Unified School District has probably the most overqualified interim superintendent in the state – and possibly the country.
Monday afternoon, the school board approved a one-year, part-time contract with Charles “Chuck” Young to be the district’s interim superintendent.
Young is a long-time former chancellor at UCLA (1968-97), former president of the University of Florida and, most recently, the chief executive officer of the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art.
The 85-year-old Young will serve as the interim superintendent while the school district searches for a permanent replacement for former Superintendent Louann Carlomagno who resigned in June.
The contract is for 89 days of service over the next 11-plus months and will pay Young $74,400. If Young works more than 89 days, he’ll be paid $836 a day.
One of the clauses in the contract waives the state requirement that Young must have a valid school administrative credential – on the grounds that, because he was the UCLA chancellor for 21 years and was the vice-chair and treasurer of the district’s foundation, he’s eminently qualified to serve as interim superintendent.
Board President Dan Gustafson said the 89 days is based on 40 percent workload. “Loyal (Carlon) will take the major share of the work and work with the leadership team,” he said. Carlon is the district’s human resource director.
One parent, Anne Ching, was concerned that Young will be only part time – especially since Carlon is also part time. “We have to cram in our priorities,” she said. “We have some hot-button issues that have to be addressed ASAP.”
Before the unanimous vote, boardmember John Kelly, more than once, said that he was in favor, Nicole Ducarroz said she was excited that Young agreed “to work with us,” and Gustafson called Young, “a game-changer.”
After the vote, Young addressed the board and the audience.
He said that even though the contract is for about two days a week, he’ll do whatever it takes to get the job done. He promised to meet individually with every board member and every principal.
“This is a great opportunity,” he said.
Young said he believes in delegating authority. “I decide what I have to decide and delegate what I don’t have to decide,” he said. “But in the end, I’m going to be responsible.”
“I want to reassure this community that the recent events will not weaken this district,” he added.
The recent events include the sudden departure of Carlomagno who decided she couldn’t work with a board that was becoming increasingly dysfunctional.
“Work with me,” he said. “See to it that the young people are getting the best education that we can give them.”
And he encouraged people who have questions or suggestions, to come forward.
“This is not going to be an easy job,” he added.
Young started work on Tuesday, July 11.
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