School board taps firm to assist with the search for IUSD’s next superintendent


The IUSD Board of Education has taken the first step toward choosing the district’s next superintendent, tapping a reputable search firm to assist with the recruitment process.

During a special session on Thursday evening, board members voted unanimously to contract with Leadership Associates to support the search that will ultimately lead to a successor for the retiring Gwen Gross. In addition, the board established a timeline for the search and scheduled a meeting for public input on Jan. 19. More details will follow.

Since 1996 Leadership Associates has helped more than 200 school districts and educational organizations find executive leaders. In fact, it’s the same firm that IUSD used to land Dr. Gross in 2006.

Gross, who previously led the Manhattan Beach, Beverly Hills and Ojai unified school districts, announced in December that she would retire at the end of the current school year.

“My life in public education has been a thrill ride that has lasted nearly 40 years, and I am particularly proud to finish it in the Irvine Unified School District,” she wrote in a Dec. 3 email to the staff. “I don’t have to tell you that this is a special place, full of dedicated professionals who have built world-class schools with wisdom, foresight and hard work. The spirit of this district was established long ago under founding superintendent Stan Corey, and I know it will endure with future generations of passionate educators.”