The ABC Board Room broke into applause on Tuesday night as Dr. Mary Sieu, current Deputy Superintendent of the , was selected by the school board to replace the retiring Superintendent Gary Smuts, who will step down from his post on June 30, 2012.
With a 5-1 vote on the original motion to choose a superintendent within the district, the vote for Sieu was unanimous.
“I am honored and privileged to be able to take on this enormous responsibility for the district,” Sieu said. “The most important goal is to always keep focus on raising student achievement.”
ABC boardmember and past board president, Celia Spitzer, originally motioned to select Sieu, believing it was the obvious choice.
“To me, it’s just natural for her to flow into this position,” Spitzer said.
Boardmember James Kang was the odd man out in the decision to search for a replacement within the district, but he fully supported the vote to have Sieu become the next superintendent.
Boardmember Armin Reyes wanted to go with “Option 5,” the option to hire within, instead of “having a dog and pony show and go through the process.”
Boardmember Olympia Chen chimed in adding that it was the best choice because the folks at ABC “know Dr. Sieu.”
“They respect her,” Chen said. “They trust her. They work very well with Dr. Sieu.”
Aside from her duties with the school district, Sieu recently completed a year serving as the president for the . During her farewell luncheon, community officials and Chamber members presented Sieu with awards in honor of her hard work, guidance and commitment as president. She has been described by her peers and colleagues as someone with a dynamic attitude who maintains great leadership in the most highly pressured situations.
Other items on the meeting agenda
Also drawing applause from the audience were the following contract issues regarding the board and staff:
- the reduction of board member compensation
- the approval of the new contract and compensation for Superintendent Gary Smuts until his retirement in June 2012
- the approval of the contract and compensation for Deputy Superintendent Sieu, Assistant Superintendent-Human Resources Carol Hansen, Assistant Superintendent-Academic Services Valencia Mayfield and Chief Financial Officer Toan Nguyen – their contracts being extended through June 30, 2014.
The following Consent Items list was also approved:
- A contract with Dennis Parker, who was previously associated with the UCLA School Management program, to provide nine days of professional development at Artesia High School for the 2011-2012 school year
- A contract with Los Cerritos YMCA to provide services for the Proposition 49 After School Education and Safety Program for students at Aloha, Juarez, , and Palms elementary schools for the 2011-12 school year
- a contract with Lucille Wang to provide nutritional support and educational services for the Head Start/State Preschool Program for the 2011-12 school year.
The next school board meeting will be held on Sept. 6 at 7 p.m.