Elk Grove News

Cosumnes Oaks culinary arts institute to be named after retiring Elk Grove superintendent

Elk Grove Superintendent Steven Ladd was surprised Tuesday night when the school board voted unanimously to name the Cosumnes Oaks High School culinary arts institute after him.

Ladd announced his retirement in July. His last day is Sept. 12.

Ladd was the visionary behind the culinary arts institute, said trustee Chet Madison.

“Now standing is a state-of-the-art culinary arts building that is recognized as one of the Elk Grove Unified School District's high-achieving schools. Your name on it is well deserved.”

The audience was packed for Ladd’s last school board meeting. A line of dignitaries including Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, D-Alamo, and Sacramento County Supervisor Don Nottoli lined up to hand him proclamations and wish him well in retirement.

Tuesday night Ladd said he was “humbled” by the tributes. “It’s been an honor to serve the community ... I’m eternally grateful for the privilege.”

The board announced Tuesday that Associate Superintendent Mark Cerutti would serve as interim superintendent while a new district leader is being sought.

Ladd, 62, has led the district for nine years, making him the longest serving superintendent of the region's large districts. Ladd’s salary is $273,195.

The district, the fifth largest in the state, serves 62,000 students in south Sacramento County.

Ladd has been an educator for 42 years, starting as a teacher’s aide in Dade County, Florida, in 1972. He worked his way up to serve as regional director of 42 Dade County Schools. Ladd was the superintendent of the San Luis Coastal Unified School District for four years before coming to Elk Grove.