Joseph Williams

Twin Rivers selects Foothill High principal as interim superintendent

Published: Wednesday, Sep. 5, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 3B

Twin Rivers Unified School District trustees named one of the district's high school principals as interim superintendent for this school year, and indicated they will consider him for the permanent job.

Foothill High School Principal Joseph Williams will earn $210,058, plus an $800 monthly car allowance after he was selected interim leader in a 5-2 vote during Tuesday night's board meeting, with Trustees Walter Garcia Kawamoto and Rebecca Sandoval voting no.

Kawamoto and Sandoval said their no votes were not directed at Williams, but rather had to do with other issues.

"I've heard wonderful things about Mr. Williams," Sandoval said during Tuesday's board meeting.

Williams' contract includes a stipulation that if he is not chosen to be the long-term superintendent before his contract ends June 30, he will become an associate superintendent through 2015 or 2016, said board President Cortez Quinn, while reporting actions from closed session.

After receiving 20 applicants for the interim job, the board interviewed eight candidates last week and selected Williams on Thursday.

Trustees did not announce their selection until Tuesday in order to negotiate a contract.

"We had some really good candidates," Trustee Michael Baker said. "I am excited about Joe Williams being our interim leader. He is the right person to lead us this year."

At Tuesday's board meeting, trustees selected CPS Human Resources to conduct its search for a permanent superintendent.

Williams was in his second year at Foothill High School. Before that, he was interim dean of students at American Canyon High School in Napa.

He replaces short-term interim Superintendent Rob Ball, who has been the associate superintendent for business support services since the creation of Twin Rivers in 2008. Ball took over in May as acting superintendent, then short-term interim superintendent in place of Superintendent Frank Porter, who officially retired June 15.

Ball led the district as the Sacramento Police Department investigated the district's troubled police force and those tasked with running it, including Porter and Deputy Superintendent Ziggy Robeson.

That investigation is continuing.

Ball returned to his associate superintendent position following Tuesday's vote. Williams, who replaced Ball on the dais during Tuesday's meeting, said he is honored to accept the interim position and his focus during his tenure will be to provide the best for the district's students.

Williams previously was an assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction with the Campbell Union High School District in San Jose and director of secondary education with San Rafael City Schools.

"We did a statewide search and found the ace in our backyard," Trustee Linda Fowler said during the meeting.

Teachers union President John Ennis, who taught at Foothill last school year, said Williams has his association's support. Ennis said Williams appears to be aware of where the dysfunction is in the school district.

"I haven't known him long, but he seems fearless and ready to take on challenges," Ennis said. "I've really never met someone in education quite like him. What he did (at Foothill) was he came in at the beginning of last school year and didn't say much, he just sat back and observed. Then halfway through the year he started making changes."

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Read more articles by Melody Gutierrez



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