The county superintendent of schools, appointed by the county board of education, is the chief administrative officer, employer and developer of programs and services as authorized by state statute or determined by needs or requests. He also provides educational leadership and administers mandated services.
The county superintendent of schools has direct oversight responsibilities for approving and assuring school district budgets, calling school district elections, and assisting with school district emergencies by providing necessary services. He is also tasked with developing a three-year Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) for the schools operated by the County Office, and reviewing and approving the LCAPs for all school districts in San Diego County.
Dr. Paul Gothold was appointed San Diego County superintendent of schools in May 2017 and officially began in the role June 1, 2017.
About Dr. Paul Gothold
Dr. Gothold began his career with the Los Angeles County Office of Education, working with adjudicated youth in the county's Division of Alternative Education as a teacher, assistant principal, and principal. He later worked in the county's Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment program, mentoring new teachers, authoring curricula, and training educators in instructional strategies and ways to integrate technology with content standards.
He then worked at Montebello Unified School District as director of secondary education, where he fostered a professional environment that supported increased academic performance, improved attendance, and integrated interventions into the district's core curriculum. There, he also worked for more than two years to create the Applied Technology Center, a non-traditional high school that touted five career education academies, fully integrated with core academics.
Dr. Gothold then joined Lynwood Unified as the Chief Academic Officer, and in 2013 he was named district superintendent. Lynwood Unified serves a student population that is 96 percent students of color, with more than 94 percent of students qualifying for free or reduced-price lunches. He crafted a comprehensive professional development plan for all teachers and administrators to improve the district's instructional program and initiated the Achieving Greatness Strategic Plan, which focused on making systemic changes to improve student outcomes.
His collaborative work with the Lynwood Unified Board of Education, teachers, staff, parents, and community resulted in dramatic increases in student achievement. In 2017, the district was one of only three in the nation – and the only one in California – to be selected as a 2017 AP District of the Year for simultaneously and continuously raising the number of students taking Advanced Placement (AP) classes and improving passing rates on AP exams.
Since 2010-11, the graduation rates at both Lynwood comprehensive high schools have increased by more than 23 percentage points, with a current rate of 93 percent. The district has created more advanced placement courses, career technical pathways, and support programs to ensure that students succeed in college and career.