In the last seven years, Sonny DaMarto has led the Turlock Unified School District through some of the most difficult budgetary times in California state history.
It is important that we, as a board and a community, find someone who will carry on along the path of excellence DaMarto has charted.
Under DaMarto’s leadership, and through the work and sacrifice of all employees in the entire school district, the financial standing and solvency of our district was never in doubt during DaMarto’s tenure.
DaMarto’s “can do” attitude and resolve resulted in the relocation of the central maintenance and operations center from the Turlock High School campus to a new facility. Also under DaMarto’s direction, our bus maintenance facility was moved from Colorado Avenue, adjoining Turlock High, to the central transportation facility.
DaMarto completed the modernization projects approved by our community, including creating the home-school and independent study programs at eCademy at Crane School. This allowed the independent Freedom High School, previously located on the Turlock High campus, to have its own campus.
On the same Crane School campus, he also established a professional development center where the board conducts its meetings, again relieving the Turlock High School campus from having to house district activities.
His vision and planning will benefit TUSD for decades.
With the new Common Core curriculum, the requirement for local-control accountability, and the new local-control funding formula for public schools, our public school administrators, teachers and staff have been asked once again to reinvent how we deliver primary public education.
DaMarto has led this effort in Turlock with conviction and an unwavering commitment to the well-being of our community and the TUSD students and all of its employees.
With DaMarto’s retirement, the school district needs to find a leader who will have the same commitment to the well-being of our community and its youths. The school board has a duty to find an individual who understands our community; who can work with and gain the respect of all the district’s employees; who will demand performance and academic excellence; and who will continue to work with the city of Turlock and California State University, Stanislaus, to coordinate our public resources for the greater good of the entire community.
The board will have the option of looking for a qualified candidate from within the district or of going outside the district to find the best candidate to fill the superintendent position on either an interim or permanent basis.
We have an excellent community, and it is imperative the district find the absolute best person to serve as superintendent – someone who can lead all of the district’s employees and its students toward the common goal of making Turlock Unified School District the best-achieving school district in the region.
We have a great community, and I trust we’ll find a great superintendent.
Lima is an attorney in Turlock and member of the Turlock Unified School District board of directors.