July 30, 2008

Land Tapped As Interim Superintendent at Alta Vista

By Esther Avila, The Porterville Recorder, Calif.

Jul. 30--The high turnover in administration seen over the past four years at Alta Vista Elementary School District is taking another turn -- the appointment of Jaspar Land as interim superintendent.

"The [school] board appointed him for anywhere from six weeks to three months," said Ruthie Gale, principal at Alta Vista. "It entirely depends on what kind of applications we might still get."

The ongoing search for a permanent superintendent continues. Prior to Land, Bernie Hanlon served as interim superintendent for a year. His interim position ended on June 9 when he left to work setting up charter schools for National University, Gale said.

Prior to Hanlon, Kim McManaman served as superintendent. Paul Cannon was superintendent prior to McManaman.

"We have five applicants but the search is still going on until Aug. 15," Gale said. "Previous applicants have lacked experience in program improvements. They were just not a good fit. If we can't find a superintendent, we will consider Mr. Land to stay for the year and search once again in the spring."

Land said he was asked if he would be willing to stay a full year if necessary.

"I'm willing to stay but the board hasn't made that decision yet," Land said. "There's talk of it but there's nothing official yet."

Land, a Porterville native who attended local schools and graduated from Fresno State University in 1964 with a teaching credential, has more than 40 years experience working with the Porterville Unified School District administration.

He was vice principal and a sixth-grade teacher at John J. Doyle Elementary for two years, principal of West Putnam Elementary for 10 years and principal of Vandalia Elementary for nine years. He has also served as the PUSD assistant superintendent of Human Resources and Operations for 15 years.

After his retirement, Land worked for the Tulare Union High School District as assistant superintendent of Human Resources and Finance for seven months in 2004, and worked as a negotiator for the Ducor Union Elementary School District in 2006.

"I want to work in establishing a good working relationship with the board, with the teachers association and with the parents," Land said. "I will try to work with the principal to support her in her desire to improve test scores."

-- Contact Esther Avila at 784-5000, Ext. 1047 or [email protected]


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