San Bernardino City Unified Board Of Education Establishes Leadership Transition Plan

Members of the Executive Cabinet will temporarily run District after superintendent’s retirement

Starting July 1, the daily operations of the San Bernardino City Unified School District (SBCUSD), the state’s seventh largest, will be the responsibility of four members of the executive leadership team.

Collectively, those four leaders have vast experience in public education, have worked in SBCUSD for decades, and two of them attended District schools as children. They will alternate monthly to serve in the District’s top spot while the Board of Education conducts a thorough search for a new superintendent following the June 30 retirement of Doc Ervin. That search will continue after the November election when four seats on the governing board are filled. The Board of Education will resume discussion about the recruitment process for a new superintendent next month with a goal of interviewing candidates in January and appointing a permanent leader to take over no later than July 2023.

Board President Dr. Scott Wyatt, a local educator, is confident the day-to-day operations of SBCUSD will be taken care of and teaching and learning will continue under this leadership plan, which starts with Associate Superintendent Harold Sullins, who runs the Business Services Division and will be the District’s administrator in charge in July. Sullins currently leads all of the business, maintenance, and information technology programs for SBCUSD. His leadership is especially important as the District prepares to open schools on August 1 for a new school year.

“As a Board, we have the utmost confidence in our executive cabinet, that is why we believe in this rotation,” Wyatt said at the June 21 Board meeting. “We have outstanding talent here in our own District and we trust our executive cabinet to lead us in the interim as we continue our search. Our schools, students, staff, and families will be in the same good hands that currently serve them.”

Also serving monthly stints in charge until a permanent leader is named will be Ana Applegate, Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services. She will guide the District in August as schools welcome 46,000 students back to classrooms across San Bernardino and Highland. Applegate is a product of San Bernardino City Schools, still lives in the community, and has earned accolades for her leadership of the District’s multilingual programs.

In September Dr. Sandra Rodriguez will take the leadership post. Dr. Rodriguez is now the Assistant Superintendent of Student Services. A graduate of Cajon High School, Dr. Rodriguez is the former principal of San Bernardino High, grew up in the community, and still lives in San Bernardino.

In October, Dr. Marcus Funchess, the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, will serve as the administrator in charge. Dr. Funchess has previously served as a teacher, principal, and director in the District. He was recently recognized as Administrator of the Year by the Association of California School Administrators.

Once the Board of Education resumes the search for a permanent superintendent following Ervin’s retirement at the end of June, a new leader is slated to be appointed in January.

“I have been exceptionally impressed with the strong leadership of our cabinet team,” Ervin said. “The Board’s decision to rely on a rotation of leadership is a validation of the talent and dedication we already have.”

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