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 Counseling Coordinator Follows in Family Footsteps

Photo of Dr. Jerry RosanderWhen Tanya Bulette started working at the San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) in 2019, nobody was more excited for her than her great uncle and former SDCOE Superintendent, Dr. Gerald Rosander.

“He was so proud and felt as though I was following in his footsteps,” Bulette said. 

Although many of Bulette’s maternal family members are educators, including Rosander, she initially pursued an advertising career. It wasn’t until she took a job at Valhalla High School as a counseling clerk that she found her passion for school counseling – and followed in her relatives’ footsteps.

Dr. Rosander, who served as superintendent from 1978 to 1987, amassed a list notable of accomplishments, and several programs that are still in existence today were established under his leadership. 

Rosander said one of the most satisfying and memorable projects completed was recognizing the value of the AVID program, developed by Mary Catherine Swanson, whom he hired as a director.

“It is with great satisfaction that I look back on the opportunity to provide financial and promotional support to this effort. Today millions of students - locally, nationally, and internationally - have developed critical skills and the motivation to complete their educations and to become effective contributors to their communities,” Rosander said.

He also said that establishing the National Partnerships in Education Program, spearheaded by Carol Pugmire and Jim Esterbrooks, was another major success during his tenure. This complex project created a deep and valuable relationship between the military, as well as other San Diego organizations, and the educators and students residing in San Diego County. Rosander and the team were honored by President Ronald Regan at the White House for initiating this program.

“A key factor in educational leadership is selecting and motivating dynamic, student-centered educators to break through the status quo to create the best possible learning environments and resources for ALL students,” Rosander said. “They are our future.”

Dr. Robert Cornelius, who worked with Rosander at both Fresno Unified School District and SDCOE, said Jerry supported innovation, promoted education from the teachers’ point of view, and focused on quality programs that made a difference for students and student achievement.  

“The most important part of Jerry’s approach was to promote the positive and always seek to add value to the curriculum. It was clear to him that it was not about kids, it was for kids. What it was really about was quality teaching. Education at all levels has benefited from Jerry’s leadership,” Cornelius said.

Other notable accomplishments under his leadership include: 

  • First to consolidate workers' compensation, liability insurance, and countywide health insurance for employees. These self-insured programs saved millions of dollars for the then 48 school districts in San Diego County. Today, it’s known as the Risk Management Joint Powers Authority.
  • Year-Round Education Program led by Dr. Charles Ballinger. This effort customized the school calendar to optimize educational benefits for the students.
Photo of Dr. Rosander, wife Kendra, and Tanya Bulette

Pictured are, from left, Kenra Rosander, Tanya Bulette, and Gerald Rosander.