The Newhall School District governing board announced Thursday its appointment of current Assistant Superintendent Jeff Pelzel as the Newhall District’s next superintendent, subject to official board action scheduled for the next regularly scheduled meeting on May 22.
Pelzel succeeds Paul Cordeiro, who will be retiring at the end of June. The board conducted a thorough search, first soliciting staff and community input. It then evaluated its applicant pool, selecting the highest qualified candidates to participate in a rigorous interview process. Through that process, Pelzel emerged as the board’s unanimous choice to lead the district as of July 1.
As the district’s assistant superintendent since 2014, Pelzel has led the district through a period of rapid change in California public education.
Board President Phil Ellis said the governing board members agreed that Pelzel is uniquely equipped to lead the district and continue its record of academic success.
“From new state standards to new state assessments to a new state accountability system, he has demonstrated a remarkable ability to bring everyone along, maintaining the district’s standing as a year-to-year leader in academic excellence, and academic excellence has been and always will be the board’s top priority,” Ellis said.
“He is passionate about his work and will give every ounce of his dedication to our students, their parents, staff and community,” Ellis added. “With his comprehensive knowledge of the district and his familiarity among the district’s stakeholders, particularly teachers, Mr. Pelzel will hit the ground running, fostering positive relationships and moving forward with current initiatives that position the district for future successes.”
A native of Selah, Washington, (and now a Santa Clarita resident), Pelzel came to Newhall after holding various posts in the (Washington) Kent, Moses Lake and Selah school districts. He started his career as a mathematics and psychology teacher in Selah.
Pelzel holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Central Washington University and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Heritage University. His, daughter, Jennifer, is a recent graduate of Western Washington University and will begin her doctoral program in pharmacy at Washington State University.