Orange Unified school board promotes Hansen to schools chief

The Orange Unified School District’s Board of Trustees unanimously voted last week to appoint Gunn Marie Hansen as the district’s new superintendent.

Hansen, who previously worked as Orange Unified’s deputy superintendent of educational services, will serve as head of the 28,500-student district. She was named interim superintendent earlier this year while officials conducted a search for a replacement for Michael Christiansen, who retired at the end of last school year.

Gunn Marie HansenIn the end, the search committee didn’t have to look far for the best candidate to fill the job, trustees said.

“Dr. Hansen’s leadership and commitment is tried and true, school board President Alexia Deligianni-Brydges said in a district news release. “Over the past several months as the interim superintendent she has led the district through the opening of schools, developed a collaborative team, supported the implementation of the facilities bond, managed the crisis of the Canyon Fire 2 with school closures and evacuations and consistently kept the focus on student learning.”

Throughout the search process, consultants hired by the district held meetings with administrators, staff, community groups, parents and key city and business partners. Forums were held with the constituents and an online survey was available on the district website. The recruitment resulted in 36 candidate requests, with the school board reviewing the 23 completed applications.

“It is a distinct honor to be selected by the OUSD trustees as the new superintendent,” Hansen said.

“I am excited to get to work with our team to accelerate student achievement, develop innovative opportunities for learning, and guide the implementation of the facilities bond,” she added. “I look forward to collaborating with our teachers, staff, students and parents to elevate the district to the next level of success.”

Hansen joined Orange Unified seven years ago. Over the past 25 years, she has served as an elementary and secondary teacher, principal and district administrator. In 2014, she was named California Central Office Administrator of the Year by the Association of California School Administrators.