file photo by Patrick Robinson
Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Jose Banda announced in a letter to the community that he is a finalist for the same job for the Sacramento City Unified School District. He's been on the job here in Seattle since July of 2012.

Banda likely to leave for Superintendent job in Sacramento

Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Jose Banda, on the job here for just two years has been tapped as a finalist for the same role in Sacramento, California. Banda, whose history as an administrator includes time with the Anaheim School District and two other California school systems announced his status in a letter to the Seattle Public Schools community on June 20. At the same time, a letter from Sharon Peaslee,President of the Seattle Public School Board was sent to families, staff and the community assuring them that a replacement for Banda would be sought soon.

Here are the letters from Peaslee and Banda:

Dear Seattle Public Schools staff, families and community,
We just learned that Superintendent José Banda is a finalist for Superintendent of the Sacramento City Unified School District. We certainly understand why they would seek him out to lead their district.

Mr. Banda stepped into his role in Seattle at a very difficult time. He pulled us together, he built a team and he created stability. He oversaw creation of the Strategic Plan that will guide our work for the next five years, and he pushed our district to ensure equity, access and opportunities for all of our students. I know I speak for the entire Board that if Mr. Banda becomes Superintendent of Sacramento City Unified, we will be very sorry to see him leave Seattle.

However, I certainly understand he has roots in California, and that moving to Sacramento will help him be closer to family. If the Board of Education in Sacramento does decide to hire him, they will not be disappointed.

I want to assure our families, staff and community that the Board will quickly create a plan to ensure continued stability for our District. We will meet early next week to talk about next steps. I have a lot of faith in the current leadership team to continue working on behalf of our students. The Board will work together with staff and the community to make sure we find another strong leader to guide the District and continue the momentum toward achieving the goals in our Strategic Plan.

Sincerely,
Sharon Peaslee
President
Seattle Public School Board

Dear Seattle Public Schools community,
I am writing today to inform you that I am a finalist for Superintendent of Sacramento City Unified School District.

This is not an easy letter for me to write. Over the past two years I have really valued the professional and personal satisfaction I have received while working with you on behalf of our students. Considering a move is a very difficult decision for me, but being a Superintendent in California puts me closer to my family.
We have an outstanding school district and I am confident the fine work will continue. The 2014-15 school year will be busy with a continued focus on raising student achievement and providing Seattle students with an outstanding education.

As a team, we’ve accomplished much in Seattle Public Schools. Many of our schools, particularly in Southeast Seattle are closing the achievement gap for students. The district has a new strategic plan to clearly direct the work for the next five years. Through the generosity and support of Seattle residents, critical school measures were passed to provide excellent facilities to meet the needs of our growing district. And, family and community partnerships have been strengthened with a focus on equity and access for all.

If I am approved by the Sacramento Board of Education, the Seattle School Board will work on next steps for a replacement. We have strong teams in place both in our schools and in Central Office, and I know all the good work will continue on behalf of our students.

Sincerely,

José Banda
Superintendent
Seattle Public Schools

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