Dr Evans Picture
Donald Evans, most recently chief of the Hayward school district, is Berkeley’s new public school Superintendent.
Donald Evans, most recently chief of the Hayward school district, is Berkeley’s new public school Superintendent.

The Berkeley Unified School Board on Wednesday night formally appointed Donald Evans as the new Berkeley superintendent of schools by approving his contract. Evans, who was has been superintendent of the Hayward Unified School District for the past two years, will take up the position on July 1.

Berkeley Unified Board President Karen Hemphill said the board had been impressed with Evans’ experience and achievements, as well as his reputation for forging fruitful partnerships and having a collaborative leadership style. In Hayward, Evans held two town hall meetings for the community every year, for example.

“When we look at his body of work, he ticks a lot of the boxes that we wanted in Berkeley,” Hemphill said.

One of Evans’ last tasks in Hayward was submitting a plan to the district to raise the achievement levels of African American students, an issue of direct relevance to Berkeley.

Evans’ selection by the board was unanimous. The process began in early February when the Board hired Ray and Associates to assist in the search for a new superintendent. The district received 70 applicants for the position, invited semi-finalists for interviews in March, and narrowed the field to finalists in early April.

Evans, who is originally from Lewes, Del., has previously worked in Compton, Oakland and East Palo Alto. He started out as an elementary school teacher in San Diego in 1988.

“I’m really excited about continuing the great work in Berkeley Unified and building on the strengths of the district to ensure that all of our students are successful,” Evans said in a statement issued last night.

Last August, the district announced plans to name Edmond Heatley as the new school superintendent, but Heatley withdrew his application after facing scrutiny about his political views.

School administrators Javetta Cleveland and Neil Smith, who have been serving as acting co-superintendents since last fall, will resume their previous roles on July 1, respectively Deputy Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent, Educational Services. Former Berkeley schools Superintendent Bill Huyett retired last June.

Evans, who lives in Oakland and whose salary will be $229,500, will begin the transition to his new post with visits to several Berkeley school sites and departments before the end of the school year. He will also hold meetings with parent, staff and community groups over the summer months.

Hayward Chief is finalist for BUSD superintendent spot [04.19.13]
School board launches new superintendent search [02.13.13]
School board forum displays strong anti-Broad views [09.28.12]
BUSD board vows to be more inclusive in new chief search [09.20.12]
Heatley withdraws candidacy for BUSD superintendent [09.18.12]
Likely new Berkeley school superintendent under scrutiny [09.05.12]
Berkeley school district names likely superintendent [08.31.12]

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Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...