Friday, October 20, 2006

Marlene Canter on the new superintendent

October 20, 2006

Dear Friend,

Eight months ago, Los Angeles Unified School Board Members began our most important job as your elected representatives: searching for a bold, new leader to succeed Superintendent Roy Romer.

Who could fill such huge shoes? We circulated a survey to gather input from thousands of parents, teachers and community members; our professional search firm interviewed dozens of community leaders to discover their priorities for a new superintendent; and our independent search committee considered more than 100 candidates and winnowed the field down to a select group of highly qualified candidates.

Last week, Board Members unanimously selected retired U.S. Navy Vice Admiral David Brewer III as our next superintendent. Your input and your interest have been vital throughout this selection process – and I am confident that you will be as impressed as Board Members are with Mr. Brewer’s record and his aspirations for this District.

During his 35-year career in the Navy, Mr. Brewer has achieved a remarkable record of leadership, and a deep well of experience managing large, complex organizations. Hailing from a family of educators, he has led innovative educational programs for the U.S. Navy and he has spoken to at-risk students at hundreds of schools nationwide on the importance of character and perseverance. I invite you to read the attached biography for a detailed view of Mr. Brewer’s qualifications.

I am confident that Mr. Brewer will become a galvanizing force for our students, our schools and our communities. I expect him to become a civic leader that the entire Los Angeles region can depend on to challenge our children to reach their full potential. In Mr. Brewer’s own words: “I am not a reformer, I am a transformer.”

In the coming weeks and months, Mr. Brewer will be visiting every corner of this District; I hope you will take the opportunity to come out and meet him at these public appearances, since this is a vital part of educating him on each community’s specific needs and goals.

We are about to begin a new era of education reform in Los Angeles, one that builds on the successes realized during Roy Romer’s tenure. We’re building 150 new schools, and student test scores are on the rise.

We have an important opportunity ahead of us, and as School Board Chair I look forward to working with Mr. Brewer, Mayor Villaraigosa, our other civic leaders, our religious leaders, and the thousands of parents, teachers, administrators, staff and community members to continue transforming Los Angeles Unified into the nation’s premiere urban school district.

Thank you once again for your input, your interest, and your commitment.


Marlene Canter
Los Angeles Unified School District
Board President

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