San Diego County Superintendent of Schools Rudy Castruita has been appointed to the USC Rossier School of Education's Irving R. and Virginia Archer Melbo Chair in Educational Administration. Castruita announced his retirement from the County Superintendency earlier this year, effective in June.
"In Dr. Castruita we have found a distinguished, creative leader in educational administration and policy," said Rossier School Dean Karen Symms Gallagher. "In addition, he is an educator with a proven track record of effectively integrating the best school practices with the most fundamental theories and findings from relevant research."
Castruita, who earned his doctorate at USC, said, "I'm honored to accept the Melbo Chair. The Rossier School of Education has an outstanding reputation, and I look forward to working with their excellent faculty and students."
At USC Castruita will be teaching courses to doctoral candidates in the Rossier School of Education, as well as working with the Dean's Superintendents Advisory Group, according to a School of Education spokesman. Castuita will start in the new position August 15.
Castruita has served as San Diego County Superintendent of Schools for 12 years. He led an unprecedented coalition of school district superintendents and school board members to form the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) Compact, which over the last three years has helped dramatically reduce the gap in achievement between students of different ethnic groups.
During his San Diego tenure he was also responsible for opening three state-of-the-art educational telecommunications centers, one at the San Diego County Office of Education, one in Southern San Diego County in National City, and the third scheduled to open in late June in the city of San Marcos.
During his 12 years as County Superintendent, Castruita's staff at the County Office of Education procured more than $240 million in grants for local school districts and students.
He currently serves on the State Superintendent's Advisory Committee for implementing the Public School Accountability Act of 1999, the state Reading First Committee, and the Board of Directors of the Scholarship America. He was recently nominated by President George W. Bush to serve on the President's Advisory for the Department of Defense Schools, which are military-based schools around the world.
Prior to his San Diego tenure Castruita was named California's Superintendent of the Year in 1992 and chaired a statewide effort to establish standards for high school graduates.
He began his career in public education in 1967 as a social studies teacher at Arroyo High in the El Monte Union High School District. He then served as assistant superintendent, secondary division and associate superintendent, before being named superintendent of the Santa Ana Unified School District in 1988.
The Melbo Chair is named for Irving R. Melbo, the Rossier School's dean from 1953 to 1973. The Melbo Chair was established in 1974, the first endowed chair in the school of education, and Dr. Melbo was the first chair holder (1974-75).