St. Hope board picks Sacramento High graduate to lead charter system

Erik Swanson has been selected to be the new superintendent of St. Hope Public Schools.
Erik Swanson has been selected to be the new superintendent of St. Hope Public Schools. St. Hope Public Schools

St. Hope Public Schools has hired Sacramento High School graduate Erik Swanson as its new superintendent.

Swanson began overseeing the four-campus charter school organization on Monday.

He replaces Enoch Woodhouse, who served as interim superintendent for the past year. Woodhouse is a protégé of Michelle Rhee, the wife of Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson and an education activist whose group StudentsFirst has taken aim at teachers unions in state and local politics.

Woodhouse was tapped for the interim role last year after St. Hope named Rhee as board chairwoman and removed Jim Scheible as superintendent. The district launched a national search for Scheible’s replacement.

St. Hope serves 1,800 students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

“Our community of students, teachers and parents, all of whom had the opportunity to interact with Erik before he was selected, should be proud that we found an alumnus of Sac High with such deep expertise in education and in Sacramento to steer the organization through its next phase,” said Tracy Stigler, vice chairman of the school’s board of directors, in a statement.

Swanson comes from the Diocese of Sacramento, where he served first as associate superintendent and then as interim superintendent of the Catholic School Department. Before that, he was a principal for five years, working at Smythe Academy Middle School and Sutter Middle School in Sacramento.

He received his undergraduate degree from UC Davis and his master’s degree from the University of San Francisco. He is currently working toward his doctorate at UC Berkeley. Swanson was not available for an interview Wednesday.