Dr. Frank W. Passarella, Superintendent of Schools for the Lake Elsinore Unified School District, has announced his retirement.
The announcement came at tonight’s regularly scheduled governing board meeting at district headquarters.
“It is with a great deal of admiration and respect for our governing board, administrative team, teachers, classified employees, parents, and especially our 22,000 students, that I announce my retirement this evening,” Dr. Passarella said in a released statement at the start of the regular meeting.
“The decision to retire was 100 percent my decision, and I will cherish the 42 years I have spent as a classified custodian, elementary and secondary teacher, assistant principal, principal, director, assistant superintendent, and district superintendent,” Dr. Passarella stated.
Dr. Passarella, 61, who has served as the district superintendent for the past six years, announced that his official retirement will come at the end of the current school year, but not before a replacement is found.
Members of the district’s governing board and senior cabinet were informed earlier of Dr. Passarella’s plan to stay on until the end of the school year to assist with the transition.
“The board of trustees extends our best wishes for Dr. Passarella’s well deserved retirement,” said Board President Susan E. Scott in a released statement. “We would like to express our appreciation for his leadership for the past six years and know that the future success of Lake Elsinore Unified School District will be predicated based on the foundation he set during his tenure. The board is confident that Lake Elsinore Unified School District will continue to achieve great milestones working collaboratively with all our stakeholders.”
Tom Thomas, who has served on the governing board since Dr. Passarella first joined the district said in the released statement, “Under Dr. Passarella's leadership, this school district has made unprecedented academic gains and assembled the very finest management, teachers, and support staff team. He has willingly tackled the toughest issues, been a strong community leader, and has always put students first in the daily decision-making process. Frank Passarella may well be the most courageous, forward thinking, and caring superintendent in the history of this school district. He will leave us in June with many completed goals and a clear road map for the future.”
Dr. Passarella started with LEUSD on Jan. 9, 2006. Under his leadership, LEUSD has risen to the third highest performing K-12 school district out of 23 in Riverside County. Last April, the district was recognized by the non-profit The Education Trust West as the top-improving school district out of 146 California public schools studied, according to the released statement.
To find a district superintendent replacement, an executive search firm could be selected and retained at a special meeting of the governing board later this month. Seating a new superintendent before June is the recruitment goal, according to the released statement.