According to a news release from the district, Stephens comes from the Delhi Unified School District, where he has been superintendent since 2011. Before 2011, he served as the assistant superintendent of Northern Humboldt Union High School District and worked as principal of Arcata High School and McKinleyville High School. He had been an assistant principal of McKinleyville High and a high school social science teacher.
“I am very excited about joining the Tracy Unified School District. I look forward to working with the staff, students and community to continue the good work that has been going on in TUSD,” Stephens wrote in the release.
During Tuesday’s school board meeting, board President James Vaughn announced that the board had interviewed several superintendent candidates Friday and was prepared to offer the job to one of them. He said the two finalists visited Tracy on Friday and the trustees narrowed their selection to one.
Vaughn said the board instructed Wendell Chun, executive director of Education Leadership Services, to offer a contract to that person, who has been identified as Stephens.
ELS was hired Jan. 21 to help the district search for a superintendent to replace Dr. James Franco, who is retiring.
“I’m confident the board made a good decision,” Vaughn said, adding that it was a tough choice.
According to Stephens’ biography released by the district Wednesday, his educational background includes a Doctorate of Education in organizational leadership from University of La Verne; a Master of Arts in education administration from Humboldt State University; an administrative credential from Humboldt State University; and a California teaching credential in social science from Sonoma State University. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in economics from University of California, Davis.
Franco is scheduled to leave the superintendent’s job in June, and the new superintendent will take over July 1, according to TUSD spokesman Joel Danoy.
During Tuesday’s board meeting, Trustee Gregg Crandall called the change the end of an era with Franco’s departure and the start of a new day at TUSD with the hiring of a new superintendent.
“Hopefully we made the right decision,” he said.
In the Wednesday news release, Franco wrote, “I am very excited to announce that Dr. Stephens has been selected as the next superintendent of Tracy Unified. His background, experience and education has prepared him to be successful in this position. He will be a valuable addition to Tracy Unified School District, and we look forward to having Dr. Stephens join the district’s educational team.”
Stephens is married, and the couple’s daughter will be enrolled as a senior at one of Tracy’s high schools in August.
His contract will be formally approved at the April 8 board meeting. The district is not releasing Stephens' salary information at this time.
• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at 830-4225 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
At a glance
WHAT: Tracy Unified School District Board of Education
WHEN: 7 p.m. Tuesday
WHERE: TUSD office, 1875 W. Lowell Ave.
PRESENT: President James Vaughn and board members Jill Costa, Gregg Crandall, Walter Gouveia, Ted Guzman and Greg Silva were present. Kelly Lewis was absent.