Board appoints Seattle superintendent to lead SCUSD

Press release

(Sacramento):  The Sacramento City Unified School District Board of Education voted tonight to appoint Seattle Public Schools Superintendent José L. Banda to the top post in Sacramento.

Mr. Banda’s first press conference in Sacramento is scheduled for 10 a.m. tomorrow (Friday, July 18) at the Serna Center, 5735 47th Ave., in the upstairs rotunda.

A veteran administrator with 34 years of experience in public education, including three decades in California schools, Mr. Banda has a track record of lifting struggling schools to academic excellence, focusing on equity and opportunities for students and engaging the community in district work.

“Mr. Banda is a perfect fit for Sacramento and we are excited to bring him back home to California,” said SCUSD Board President Patrick Kennedy. “His 32 years of experience in California has given him a deep understanding of challenges and opportunities unique to the Golden State.”

Seattle Public Schools is Washington’s largest K-12 district with more than 51,000 students and 8,000 employees. Under Banda’s leadership the district formed a 70-person task force to create a new five-year strategic plan titled “Every Student. Every Classroom. Every Day.”

Before Seattle, Mr. Banda served as superintendent for the 20,000-student Anaheim City School District, where 85 percent of students qualify for a free or reduced price lunch and 60 percent are English Language Learners. During his four years at the helm in Anaheim, the district’s rating on the state’s Academic Performance Index (API) increased from 694 to nearly 776.

In addition to his experience as an administrator, Mr. Banda has served students as a teacher, a counselor and a principal. The son of migrant workers, he grew up in Bakersfield, earning a bachelor’s degree from CSU Bakersfield and a master’s in Educational Leadership from Chapman University.

SCUSD has been without a permanent superintendent since the resignation of Jonathan Raymond in December. Former Area Assistant Superintendent Dr. Sara Noguchi has served as Interim Superintendent for the past seven months. She will remain at SCUSD during the transition.

Established in 1854, Sacramento City Unified has approximately 43,000 students at 75 schools and is one of the largest employers in the Sacramento region.