The Tehachapi Unified School District board proudly announced at the Tuesday night board meeting that Stacey Larson-Everson has been selected to lead the district as the next superintendent. The board voted unanimously in favor of appointing Larson-Everson to a two-year term starting July 1.

“I'm just really excited to have a person of her experience and quality coming to this position,” said Jeff Kermode, board president. He added, “I think our board has worked hard with your input to get where we are tonight.”

Larson-Everson has served for the past four years as the assistant superintendent in Education Services for the Bellflower Unified School District near Long Beach, she said in an interview with Tehachapi News.

“I was drawn to Tehachapi because of the tight-knit community,” said Larson-Everson. “I’m really excited to have the opportunity to be part of the kind of community with family values and rural nature that works together as a team. When I say a team, I mean the community and district together with parents and staff. I feel that is really appealing. I raised my kids in a very similar community in Fallbrook, an unincorporated part of San Diego.”

At Fallbrook Union School District, she served as an administrator and director for the Services for English Language Learners. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from the University of Nevada and a master’s degree in educational leadership from National University, according to a recent press release.

“We did a nationwide recruitment and received many out of state applications,” said Kermode. He added that after the screening process, 15 applications were considered. After a consensus, the board narrowed the applications to seven with interviews, then three and after another round of interviews considered the final candidate.

Board members traveled to speak with administration staff, union representatives, PTA members, board members, teachers and parents at the Bellflower Unified School District. Many people remarked on the high level of respect, vision to help others, inviting personality, and dedication shown by Larson-Everson, said Kermode.

“We got a lot of personal feedback based upon their interactions with the candidate as to what type of person she is,” said Kermode. He added, “What was clear at the site visit was the sense of loss for the people in that district, sense of joy for our candidate and concerns about what will happen after she leaves.”

The district had previously held off discussion of hiring a replacement for Superintendent Susan Andreas-Bervel until the May 1, 2018 special board meeting. She submitted her resignation at the March 13, 2018 meeting.

Board members appointed Paul Kaminski, former Jacobsen Middle School principal, as interim superintendent for one year until June 30, 2019. Dave Long and Associates was selected to help the district search for a permanent superintendent and the district agreed to pay $13,900 for consultation services.

These services provided input sessions for the community and stakeholders, announced the position on various outlets, recruited candidates, collected and processed applications, conducted reference checks, interviewed candidates, and requested federal and criminal background checks on the finalist — these two decisions announced at the June 12, 2018 meeting.

Workshops held throughout last year showed the community felt that strong leadership, good ethics, familiarity with state and federal laws and previous school district management were top factors the board should consider for a new superintendent.

“We did a thorough vetting process and it came out really well. The board worked diligently to find the right candidate and person for the district and the community,” said board member Rick Scott.