After 5-month search, NLMUSD hires new superintendent

NORWALK – After a five-month search, the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District nabbed a new superintendent from Imperial County on Monday. Hasmik Danielian, a former teacher and principal, comes to the NLMUSD after a four-year stint as superintendent at Brawley Union High School District.

Before serving in Brawley, Danielian was associate superintendent of secondary schools for Hacienda La Puente Unified and a dean of students, high school principal, and teacher at the Glendale Unified School District for 17 years.

“It will be a privilege to serve as the Superintendent of NLMUSD with such an established culture and tradition of excellence,” said Danielian in a district press release.

“Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District has earned the much-deserved reputation for providing remarkable educational programs for all students in an exceptionally supportive community environment.”

The NLMUSD board of education approved a three-year contract, which begins on July 1 at a starting salary of $230,000 not including benefits. Former NLMUSD superintendent Ruth Perez, who resigned last September earned $205,000 without benefits at the time of her departure.

Danielian will replace Ginger Shattuck, who retired as NLMUSD superintendent in 2009, but was appointed as interim superintendent last September until a new superintendent was chosen.

District officials interviewed six candidates out of a pool of 18 applicants after receiving input from more than 100 stakeholders, including parents, teachers, students, staff and community representatives. After an in-person visit to Brawley, the NLMUSD board offered the position to Danielian.

“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Danielian aboard,” said NLMUSD board president Jesse Urquidi.

“She is a strong, collaborative leader who is committed to open communication and helping us continue our mission of offering high-quality educational programs that help students reach their college and career goals.”

Danielian received her doctorate degree in educational leadership from the University of Southern California and master’s degrees in bilingual education and curriculum and supervision from University of La Verne and Point Loma Nazarene University respectfully.

The school board voted 5 to 2 in favor of Danielian’s contract.

Those voting to approve the proposed contract were board members Sean Reagan, Ana Valencia, Darryl Adams, Jesse Urquidi and Karen Morrison.

Board members Margaret Rios and Chris Pflanzer voted against the contract.

Prior to the vote, various speakers took turns with their allotted three minutes to express their dissatisfaction with the process to select the next superintendent.

Most reminded the board that they were not protesting Danielian, but rather the process that was utilized to choose the new district leader for the next three years beginning July 1.

Wayne Shannon, assistant superintendant of human resource for the district, was mentioned several times as a preferred choice by teachers.

Shannon was named district Administrator of the Year at the recent STAR awards ceremony. He was also an early candidate for the position of superintendant.

Kelly Rush, president of the TANLA teachers’ union, pointed out that only three school board members attended the STAR awards ceremony.

“Commanders listen to the troops in the field,” said Clay Walker, president-elect of TANLA.



Published: May 21, 2015 - Volume 14 - Issue 06