Superintendent Sandra Lyon, who has served as superintendent of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District since 2011, announced her plans to leave SMMUSD for the superintendent position of the Palm Springs Unified School District, effective July 1, 2016.
“I have had the wonderful opportunity to serve the Santa Monica and Malibu communities for the past five years, and am especially proud to be part of an amazing team of leaders and teachers who have worked very hard to build our school district into the high-performing school district it is today,” Lyon said.
“This decision is a difficult one for me to make as we are turning the corner on becoming a more student-centered district with equity and access clearly defined as our goal for all students.”
The Palm Springs Unified School District has 23,300 students in 27 schools, covering six cities in the Coachella Valley, compared to 11,000 students in 16 schools at SMMUSD. Palm Springs Unified has more than 80 percent students who are socio-economically disadvantaged.
“This is the right time in the right community for me and I’m looking forward to working with the new board and leadership on improving parent engagement, improving outcomes for all students and working closely with the stakeholders, in the communities,” Lyon said. "I am grateful for my time in the SMMUSD and all of the colleagues and community members I’ve worked with and learned from over the years.”
Board of Education leadership will work with the full board in the coming weeks to determine next steps in searching for her successor, according to SMMUSD.