After thirteen years of service, Saugus Union School District (SUSD) Governing Board Member Paul De La Cerda announced on Friday that he will not be seeking re-election. De La Cerda was first elected to the board in November of 2005 and is currently serving as Board Clerk. He has served three consecutive four-year terms and one additional year after aligning the election cycle to even years.
De La Cerda’s decision to not seek re-election is prompted by being accepted into the Doctorate program this fall in Organizational Change & Leadership at USC Rossier School of Education. Since 2004, De La Cerda has worked in the area of education as a high school STEM instructor, college professor and college administrator where his last eight years have been serving as a College Dean and leader in the California Community Colleges System.
“It has been an amazing thirteen years. I have been privileged to meet and serve thousands of children and families over the years. Today, I’m excited to look at what lies ahead. The Saugus family has taught me so much, and I am looking forward to building on that experience in an effort to help support more students in the future and stay involved in our community,” said De La Cerda.
During his thirteen years as a school board trustee, De La Cerda helped institute many improvements at SUSD including the following:
• Passage of Measure EE, a $148 million bond to improve district facilities, technology and safety, the largest elementary school bond in Santa Clarita Valley (SCV) history
• Career pathway programs including the opening of West Creek Academy (first focused pathway elementary school in SCV) and re-opening of Emblem Academy (the first STEM focused elementary school in SCV)
• Adoption of new classroom tools and technology such as interactive flat panels and Google Chromebooks for students during instruction time
• Top recognition of SUSD schools with 5 National Blue Ribbons, 14 CA Gold Ribbons, 35 California Distinguished Schools Awards, 6 CA Business for Educational Excellence Awards, a Title I National Academic Achievement Award and 4 Implementation PBIS Awards
“I’m extremely proud that we are an award-winning district committed to excellence in elementary education. As I retire off the SUSD governing board, I want to thank my wife, Andrea, my children, Brooke, Taylor, JJ and Austin, and our SCV community for their support and encouragement in making our district the best it can be for thousands of students,” said De La Cerda.
“Due to Paul’s service, dedication and leadership, I know the Saugus family will continue to excel and serve generations to come with the best educational experience it can offer,” stated CA Assemblymember Dante Acosta of the 38th District.
“Paul has devoted his time, wisdom, and soul to this district. He made tough decisions based solely on what was best for children, not on politics or what was popular,” said Senator Scott Wilk. “Most of all, he provided a steadfast and fierce commitment to raising the achievement of ALL students. On behalf of the 21st California Senate District, I would like to thank Paul for his selfless service to the Saugus Union School District. His leadership and clear vision for the future will be his lasting legacy for generations of SUSD students to come.”
De La Cerda will be announcing his endorsement for his replacement in the coming week. His term is up in December 2018.