CCUSD Superintendent Dave LaRose informed members of the Board of Education in closed session at Tuesday’s Board meeting that he will be stepping down from his position, effective at the end of this school year.
LaRose said his decision is a personal one and added that he is not leaving to take a position with another school district.
“If the next chapter of my life was to be in a leadership role for a school district, there’s no place I’d rather be than here in Culver City,” said LaRose, adding that the next chapter of his life may include a sabbatical, consulting or even teaching. “I’m not sure what I will be doing next, but it has truly been an honor to serve the Culver City community.”
Board of Education President Steve Levin said he is sorry to see LaRose leave a district he has led for the past four years.
“Dave has been an amazing, charismatic leader for CCUSD, and we’re really sorry to see him go,” said Levin. “He has helped us make great strides in the right direction, and we are committed to keeping that momentum going. Dave’s legacy will benefit our students for years to come.”
During his time as superintendent, LaRose championed the Culver City Compact – a signed document that outlines the community’s commitment and vision for a bright educational future that was adopted by a wide array of community member, businesses and organizations.
He is known for being a strong advocate for the whole child and believes that in order for EVERY child to succeed, schools and communities must partner to ensure they are healthy, safe, engaged, supported, challenged and hopeful. This belief resulted in a number of collaborative efforts between school and community, including the integration of a Kids at Hope framework, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Summer Lunch and Fun, and the Backpacks for Kids Program. For his efforts, the Friends of the Sandy Segal Youth Health Center honored him at their 2015 gala and recognized him for his commitment to the physical, emotional and academic health of all children.
LaRose has also overseen perhaps the most ambitious facilities improvement program ever undertaken by the district. Measure CC, approved by voters in June, 2014, provided $106 million to fund major renovations and technology upgrades to CCUSD facilities. Those efforts are already underway and could take up to 12 years to complete.
Prior to coming to CCUSD in 2012, LaRose served for four years as the superintendent of the South Kitsap School District in Washington State, where he was named South Kitsap’s 2012 Man of the Year by the Chamber of Commerce and received the Kitsap Scouting 2011 Service to Youth Award. In 2009, LaRose received the Washington State ASCD (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) Whole Child Award for his systemic and strategic approach to meeting the needs of all students.
Prior to his service in South Kitsap, LaRose worked as a teacher and administrator in Arizona. He earned both a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Lyndon State College in Lyndonville, Vermont and a master’s degree in education from Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, Tennessee.
Levin added that the board will undertake an exhaustive search for a new superintendent.
“The board will begin immediately working on finding a successor, someone equally great to lead our district in the future,” he said. “Of course, we wish Dave all the best on whatever road his life takes him on next.”
The full text of LaRose’s message to the community is attached.
On Tuesday evening I shared the following announcement with the members of the CCUSD School Board.
Upon much reflection and deep consideration with my family, I have made the decision to resign as Superintendent for Culver City Unified School District effective June 30, 2016.
I do not make this decision lightly. However, I am confident that the time is right for me – both personally and professionally– to take a thoughtful and intentional break from the work I have always believed I was called to do. To be clear, this is not a typical strategic career decision driven by a new offer or position; rather, this is simply a personal, hopeful and uncertain leap of faith.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve with you. I consider myself fortunate to have been a part of such a collaborative and child-centered community. I am deeply committed to continuing our work in the coming months, with great intentionality for sustaining the focus and enthusiasm that currently fuels our district.
Thank you for your trust, support, leadership and encouragement. I believe our work together has been intentional, meaningful and impactful – and it is my sincere hope that this belief is shared by you, the CCUSD team and the community we serve.
It has truly been an honor to serve the Culver City community. CCUSD is a special place for many reasons – and the level of community support for our students and staff is unrivaled. Each day, the children and adults of CCUSD are provided opportunities and experiences that are made possible by a deeply engaged and generous community.
As noted, this is a very personal decision and I consider myself blessed to be supported and encouraged by my wife and daughters in making a choice of this magnitude.
I am personally and professionally grateful for the trust, faith and support you have given me. I look forward to the coming months as we strengthen and act on our shared belief – Success for All Takes Us All!
Success for All has certainly taken us all in a good direction under Dave LaRose, his commitment to the students, to the District, to the teachers and staff, and to the families has been constant and unwavering. I will truly miss working with him. He is one of the most honest and caring people I have every had the pleasure of meeting. It was under LaRose’s guidance that the Backpacks Program spread to every school site. I have seen the touch of his guiding hand in the choices made for school renovation and construction. He will leave an indelible mark on our district, our community, our students, and our schools.
I wish him well and I know that with some effort we can continue the improvements he has made.
Co-Coordinator Backpacks for Kids
Chair, Citizens Bond Oversight Committee