Dr. Clint Harwick to retire as HBUHSD superintendent, ending 36-year career in education

Long before he became the award-winning superintendent of the Huntington Beach Union High School District, Dr. Clint Harwick got his start as a school custodian. 

His passion for helping students and staff fueled his drive to further his education, and from there he went on to become a teacher, site administrator and, eventually, superintendent of the Rim of the World, Charter Oak and Saddleback Valley unified school districts. 

Dr. Clint Harwick
Dr. Clint Harwick

In 2016, Harwick joined HBUHSD, where he’s credited with a wide range of accomplishments, including enhanced Career Technical Education opportunities and a dramatic expansion of the dual enrollment program. 

On Monday, the district announced that Harwick will retire in August, capping a 36-year career in education.

“Over the last seven years, I have been truly blessed to watch some of the best educators and support providers in the county make magical connections with students and help them be successful,” he told the staff.

“We have celebrated teachers of the year, classified employees and administrators of the year,” he added. “We have won CIF titles, artistic awards and been demonstration sites for countless programs. We have also faced some challenges including fiscal issues, political changes, and even a worldwide pandemic. The best part is, we always did it together.”

On Saturday, the HBUHSD Board of Trustees met in a special closed session to discuss next steps for finding Harwick’s successor. According to a district news release, they will search for a leader who exemplifies the HBUHSD values of inclusivity, innovation and a family-first culture.

‘Momentum and direction’

In the classroom, learning opportunities grew significantly under Harwick’s stewardship through the expansion of Career Technical Education programs, providing students with valuable industry skills and pathways to future prospects. Students have also had increased accessibility to earn college credit, with the district’s dual enrollment program growing from 30 students to more than 7,000.

At the same time, HBUHSD upgraded school sites with new pools, fields and stadiums while completing campus beautification projects and completing HVAC updates.

Harwick, who was named Superintendent of the Year in 2022 by the regional chapter of the Association of California School Administrators, further championed the success and well-being of his staff and students, promoting inclusivity with Unified Sports and Arts, and establishing wellness centers at HBUHSD. 

“Dr. Harwick has played such a critical role in affecting the climate, attitude and reputation of our schools,” HBUHSD Board President Dr. Duane Dishno said. “He has provided momentum and direction by pairing his vision for our students and our schools with an unrelenting passion for instructional improvement. Most importantly, he has conveyed a sense of connection and belonging by helping all of us to understand that we succeed and fail together.”