After seven years as superintendent, and with a career of more than 30 years in Riverside Unified School District, Dr. David Hansen announced he will retire in July this year.
In a letter addressed to the employees and families within RUSD last Thursday, Hansen said the decision to retire was not made easily and that he is committed to addressing the issues the district faces until July.
“Serving Riverside students and families for so many years has been a most rewarding experience,” Hansen said. “From the intimate joys of being a classroom teacher to the daily leadership lessons of a school administrator, I have embraced and enjoyed each role.”
Tom Hunt, president of the RUSD Board of Education, said in an interview yesterday that in his role as superintendent, Hansen did much to transform and modernize the district.
“When David was hired, we were at around an 85 percent graduation rate and now we’re at 97 percent,” Hunt said. “We’re saying goodbye to a real leader, someone I’ve been very impressed with, one of the finest leaders I’ve ever known who leads by inspiration.”
As the search for Hansen’s replacement begins, Hunt said the board is also looking toward this year’s challenges and how to prepare for them.
“The immediate concern is how we safely return to campus when we’re allowed,” Hunt said. “Also, we’ll be looking at what Sacramento will be investing in beyond the annual allocations to districts.”
Extra funding may mean the development of new career and technical programs throughout the district like coding, according to Hunt.
He added that improved communication between RUSD leadership and constituency will be a personal priority of his.
“We’re better prepared to change and adapt with what [Superintendent Hansen] has done for us,” Hunt said. “But we’ve got a lot to look at moving ahead.”