Trustees to visit Seattle in final phase of superintendent search

Press release

The Sacramento City Unified School District Board of Education will visit Seattle next week in the final phase of the process for appointing a permanent superintendent.

Seattle Public Schools Superintendent José L. Banda has been selected by trustees as the finalist for the top post in Sacramento. A veteran administrator with 34 years of experience in public education, including three decades in California schools, Banda has a track record of lifting struggling schools to academic excellence, focusing on equity and opportunities for students and engaging families and communities in district work.

“We look forward to seeing Mr. Banda’s accomplishments in Seattle, the last step in the process of bringing Mr. Banda back to California,” said SCUSD Board President Patrick Kennedy. “We are particularly interested in his work moving school districts forward while empowering the community in the service of students.”

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 of Arts degree from CSU Bakersfield and a master’s in Educational Leadership from Chapman University.

SCUSD has been without a permanent superintendent since December, following the resignation of former superintendent Jonathan Raymond. Dr. Sara Noguchi, a former teacher, principal and central office administrator, has served as Interim Superintendent for the past six months.

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.