Superintendent Stan Rose to Retire in June
At the November 8 board meeting, Superintendent Dr. Stan Rose announced that he will retire at the end of the school year in June 2019. His letter to the Santa Clara Unified School District community reflecting on his time in education and the district follows below. Additionally, a letter from Board President Noelani Pearl Hunt below highlights the many successes the district's students, families, staff, and community have benefitted from under his tenure as well as the next steps in planning for a successful transition from his leadership.
A Message from the Superintendent
Beloved Members of the Santa Clara Unified Community,
For many years, I have been teasing those around me about being very old. I try to flip open my iPhone, I keep looking for a place to dial the numbers around on it, and I keep wondering when I am going to run out of cord for my phone the farther away from home I get. You get the idea… The fact is that I have been serving in education for forty-six years. Before that, I worked for my father for almost nine years. Since I started working at age 14, those of you who are math inclined now know just how old I really am. The time has come for me to go home and try to make my absence up to my wife. So, effective July 1, 2019, I will officially retire from Santa Clara Unified School District and from daily work in general.
Working for SCUSD has been a singular honor. I have the privilege of retiring from a district in which I attended school. I have often relayed the story of a day I will never forget—the day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, November 22, 1963, when I was in shop class at Patrick Henry Junior High School. I was an eighth grader and 13 years old. I went to my Grandmother’s house on Stanford Court that day and cried with her. I have memories of walking to Patrick Henry on streets next to apricot orchards that existed around that part of Sunnyvale at the time. Fast forward to 2013, fifty years later, when I assumed the position of Superintendent in the same district.
I am so proud of the staff and students of our district, who are so dedicated and passionate about the education of all our students! Our community is so much more diverse and so much more beautiful and culturally rich in its diversity than it was when I was a child here. I am grateful that I have had the opportunity to witness that new reality.
So, why leave now? The simple truth is that I am a little slower, a little more forgetful, and a little more tired at the end of the day now. If I were able to take my job in manageable smaller amounts with rests in between, I could stay on indefinitely. That is not the nature of the Superintendent’s position. It is 24-7-365. The community deserves no less. The Board deserves no less. The staff deserves no less. The students deserve no less.
It may not be popular to say this, but I believe superintendents have a shelf life with an expiration date. That date is different for each superintendent, but it exists. I believe I have reached my expiration date—not from the planet (I hope!) but from the job. The person who succeeds me will take the district to another, higher level. I promise you that, when I leave, you will forget I was there within a short period of time. That is okay and the way it has to be. I am fond of a famous quote from a prayer by Bishop Oscar Romero, entitled “Prophets of a Future Not Our Own”:
We plant the seeds that one day will grow.
We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise.
We lay foundations that will need further development.
We provide yeast that produces far beyond our capabilities.
We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that. This enables us to do something, and to do it very well.
It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord's grace to enter and do the rest.
We may never see the end results, but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker.
We are workers, not master builders; ministers, not messiahs.
We are prophets of a future not our own.
Each one of us does our part and then steps aside to allow others to do theirs. That is the nature of education, especially if each of us is a lifelong learner. I know there will be more for me to do in the months and years that follow. I may teach, I may write, I may tell my part of the story about teaching and learning to others.
Santa Clara was my home for a time as a child, and it will always be a part of my home in the future. So, I will answer calls and be available to help in any way I can.
I extend a special thanks to the Board, Administration, and staff in the District for their ongoing commitment to our children and for their support in the work of educating our students. I want to thank our students for the honor of serving you. Finally, to the community, I thank you all for every day of the six years you have gifted me with the privilege to serve as your Superintendent.
Stanley Rose III, Ed.D.
A Message From the Board President
After dedicating 46 years servicing public education, Superintendent Dr. Stan Rose is starting his planned retirement at the end of the 2018-2019 school year. Santa Clara Unified School District has been fortunate that he spent the last six of those years of his career serving students in our district. I would like to take a moment to thank him for his service and reflect with the community on just a few of the many successes the district has achieved under Dr. Rose’s compassionate, consistent, and equity-focused leadership since 2013, and what our next steps are in planning for a smooth and positive transition to our next superintendent.
First, a brief list of just some of the success we have seen in Dr. Rose’s tenure:
- Increase graduation rates steadily from 81.4% to 88.7%, starting with a focus on all students reading at grade level by third grade, and providing necessary supports through twelfth grade to a successful graduation.
- Recruit and support a more diverse student population to participate and succeed in advanced placement (AP) courses, earning national recognition for our AP equity work.
- Fund AP, PSAT, and SAT college placement exam fees for the last three years so that all students can participate without being limited by the expense.
- Continue to grow career technical education pathways and see students and programs recognized with state and national awards.
- Expand science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) focus across the entire district, including opening a STEAM elementary school (Central Park Elementary), two computer science immersion schools (Montague and Sutter elementary schools), and transforming our district science fair into a STEAM Expo.
- Increase supports for our most vulnerable students - including English learners and those with special needs - and expand academic counseling, social-emotional, music, arts, and library supports for all students.
- Involve students in district goal setting and create meaningful opportunities for them to participate in the decision-making process, beginning in 2014 with the 2015-2020 strategic planning effort.
- Continue to boost morale and strengthen relationships, communication, and the spirit of collaboration between the board, leadership, unions, and staff through our Labor-Management Partnership.
- Passage of Measure H 2014 and Measure BB 2018, providing the funding for critically needed facility improvements to better serve our students, including the construction of five new schools to meet our growth.
The Board of Trustees recognizes the magnitude of hiring the next superintendent. We need just the right person to lead the construction of three new schools, continue our steady climb toward a 100% graduation rate, and support and focus on equity for our ever-changing and growing demographics of students.
As the board and district leaders work together to build a comprehensive superintendent transition plan, we will be consulting and communicating regularly with students, families, staff, and community. This commences with a series of announcements in November and a board work study session on December 13 to plan an executive search process. In early 2019, components of the executive search process will include a significant community engagement effort to both receive input from all our stakeholders and share regular updates back out.
The board is committed to continuing work with the new superintendent and leadership on meeting the goals of our 2015-2020 strategic plan, including school safety and academic and career success for each and every child in our ever-changing world. We look forward to continuing the conversation with you as the school year unfolds.
Noelani Pearl Hunt
President, Board of Trustees