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Fresno Unified Is Charting the Course of Fresno's Future. Your Voice Can Help Shape It.
Opinion
By Opinion
Published 2 months ago on
February 25, 2024

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Superintendent Bob Nelson’s retirement provides Fresno Unified with the opportunity to chart a new course.

District leaders want to hear from the community what they’d like to see in the next leader.

School Board forms Superintendent Search subcommittee.


Fresno Unified is undertaking an incredible transition as we begin the search for our next superintendent.

Susan Wittrup Portrait

Susan Wittrup

Fresno Unified School Board President

Opinion

Last month, we were informed that our leader – Superintendent Bob Nelson – would be embarking on new endeavors at Fresno State after leading California’s third-largest school district for seven years.

On behalf of the entire Board of Trustees, we are incredibly grateful for Superintendent Nelson’s years of dedicated service to the children of Fresno for nearly 30 years here at Fresno Unified.

Today, however, we are tasked with charting a new course for Fresno Unified, which is responsible for the education and development of more than 70,000 children in the city of Fresno.

Hiring a superintendent is one of the Board of Trustees’ three core responsibilities to our constituents. Simply put: we are making a critical decision not only for the future of Fresno Unified but for the future of Fresno itself.

District Wants Your Thoughts on Next Superintendent

The starting point of this process begins with hearing directly from the cornerstone of Fresno Unified: you, our families, and neighbors.

Fresno Unified is home to a diverse range of families, each with their unique perspectives and experiences.

That is why the Board of Trustees recently took two actions to advance the superintendent search. First, we created a Board Superintendent Search subcommittee tasked with leading the day-to-day process of recruiting our next superintendent.

Second, we began the process of soliciting feedback directly from you, starting with a set of listening sessions.

The search for a new superintendent presents an invaluable chance for families to contribute to the identification and hiring of a leader who understands and appreciates Fresno Unified’s rich diversity. It is also an opportunity to identify the vision, goals, and direction of our next superintendent.

Families that were unable to attend these meetings can still submit their feedback via our online survey at www.fresnounified.org.

Reaching Out to Community & Education Groups, Too

We have also been reaching out to local community and education groups for additional feedback to provide a holistic view of the needs in our next leader.

By providing your input you can ensure that your family’s voice is heard and that our next superintendent reflects the needs and aspirations of our community.

Feedback provided via our listening sessions and surveys will be provided directly to the Board of Education and our Superintendent Search subcommittee in early March.

Following the conclusion of the listening sessions, the board will provide updates on the next steps for selecting our new superintendent.

We are excited about this new chapter for Fresno Unified and our city. Together, we will chart a course for a brighter future in Fresno.

About the Author

Susan Wittrup is the President of the Fresno Unified School Board of Trustees. Before her election in 2022 to represent the 7th District, covering the Bullard High School area, she was a 37-year career educator and school psychologist with Fresno Unified School District.

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