Huntington Beach City School District lands new superintendent

A veteran educational leader from Laguna Beach Unified has been tapped to serve as the next superintendent of the Huntington Beach City School District.

Dr. Leisa Winston, whose career spans more than 20 years as an elementary special education teacher, program specialist, director, assistant superintendent and deputy superintendent, will assume the role of HBCSD’s top administrator pending contract negotiations and final approval by the school board on Dec. 15.

With an anticipated start date of Jan. 4, she will take the reigns from Greg Magnuson, who will continue to serve as interim superintendent through December.

Portrait of Leisa Winston
Leisa Winston

“I am humbled and honored to be selected as the superintendent of Huntington Beach City School District,” she said in an email to the OCDE Newsroom. “I look forward to serving the Board, students, families, staff and the community in such an exemplary school district.”

Winston brings a wealth of varied experiences to her new job, ranging from classroom teaching and coaching teachers and administrators, to improving district communication and developing positive labor relations. She currently serves as the deputy superintendent of Human Resources and Instructional Services in the Laguna Beach Unified School District, where she also oversees communications.

In Laguna Beach, she’s pursued an array of strategic initiatives, community engagement efforts and professional development opportunities that have elevated student learning and yielded high levels of recognition for the district.

This year, she was named Region 17 Personnel Administrator of the Year by the Association of California School Administrators, or ACSA, for her work in human resources, including efforts to build leadership capacity.

“The Board wishes to extend its appreciation to Dr. Winston and each of the applicants who showed an interest in the position,” read a Huntington Beach City School District news release. “Trustees also want to express their gratitude to HBCSD employees, parents, students, community members, and ESS search advisors for their valuable input throughout this process.”