San Diego County
Superintendent of Schools
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.
About Dr. Paul Gothold
Dr. Paul Gothold was named San Diego County Superintendent of Schools in 2017, after seven years (four as superintendent) leading Lynwood Unified School District, where he championed systemic changes to improve student outcomes.
Gothold has more than 27 years in K-12 education, with a focus on building school systems with equity at the core. He has a proven track record of supporting quality professional learning for teachers, backing innovative ideas, and putting students first.
While Dr. Gothold was leading Lynwood (96% students of color and over 96% qualifying for free and reduced-price lunch), the district went from failing and on the brink of receivership to one of only three in the nation – and one in California – to be selected as a 2017 College Board AP District of the Year. The award is for simultaneously raising the number of students taking Advanced Placement (AP) classes and improving passing rates on AP exams. During his tenure, the district graduation rate rose from 58% in 2010-2011 to over 90% (four-year cohort) at each of the comprehensive high schools.
In San Diego County – through alternatives to detention initiatives and in partnership with the district attorney’s office, juvenile courts, and probation – the county has reduced the criminalization of youth from over 600 students incarcerated to less than 100 in three and a half years. As San Diego County Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Gothold also provides leadership and support to 42 districts and more than 160 charter schools for over 500,000 students throughout the county and serves on various boards in the community.
Since beginning his career in 1992 as a teacher for adjudicated youth in Los Angeles County, Dr. Gothold’s heart and passion have been in working to ensure every student regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, or language has the opportunity to succeed in school and in life. He believes that starts with graduating high school with the option to attend a four-year college.
Gothold received his doctorate of education from the University of Southern California and his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Whittier College, where he has also served as an adjunct professor. He also serves as a mentor and advisor for sitting and aspiring superintendents throughout the state.
He is married with two daughters enrolled in local public schools.