Santa Ana Unified names new superintendent

The Santa Ana Unified School District Board of Education has appointed Jerry Almendarez as the 47,000-student district’s new superintendent.

Jerry Almendarez
Jerry Almendarez

During the three-month selection and interview process, the board took into consideration input gathered from parents, staff, students and community members via an online survey, community listening sessions and one-on-one discussions.

Almendarez has served as superintendent since 2010 at the Colton Joint Unified School District, an economically and ethnically diverse district of 23,000 students.

Almendarez’ career in education spans 27 years and includes experience as a classroom teacher, an assistant principal and a principal. He also served as director of human resources for Colton Joint Unified from 2003 to 2007, and assistant superintendent of human resources from 2007 to 2010.

As the new superintendent of the Santa Ana Unified, Almendarez will be responsible for leading the 10th largest school district in the state, with 61 schools and programs, approximately 5,000 employees, and an expense budget of $697.4 million.

superintendent Jerry Almendarez standing on stage

Almendarez has a master’s degree in educational leadership and administration from the University of Redlands, and a bachelor’s degree in business/finance from Cal State San Bernardino.

He has also taught as an adjunct professor at Azusa Pacific University and the University of Redlands, and in March he was named a 2019 Ted-Ed Innovative Educator.

Almendarez replaces co-interim superintendents Alan Rasmussen and Richard V. Tauer, who led the district for three months after the departure of Superintendent Stefanie Phillips