- Katherine Johnson
San Juan Unified announces selection for next superintendent of schools
At the San Juan Unified Board of Education meeting on Sept. 27, it was announced by unanimous vote that current Deputy Superintendent of Schools and Programs Melissa Bassanelli has been selected as San Juan Unified’s next superintendent of schools. She will assume the role starting Jan. 1, 2023.
“Melissa demonstrated a deep and thoughtful understanding of the work that San Juan Unified is engaged in, combined with new ideas on how to address some of our most pressing challenges,” said Board of Education President Dr. Michael McKibbin. “Her inquiry-based style of leadership can help us evolve and reach new heights in how we provide services to students and families.”
Bassanelli has been San Juan Unified's deputy superintendent of schools and programs since 2019 with responsibility for the Division of Teaching and Learning. She played a key role in the development, implementation and refinement of the district’s strategic plan, Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP), Expanded Learning Opportunities (ELO) plan and Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER) plan. Prior to her current position, she served as the assistant superintendent of elementary and K-8 education, director of professional learning and curriculum innovation, director of extended learning and support programs, and as a vice principal and principal.
“I am honored and humbled to be selected as the next superintendent,” said Bassanelli. “I believe we have opportunities to work together with all members of our community to align and focus our efforts in ways that will improve outcomes for students, support our staff and allow us to take on new challenges. I am excited to help lead this next evolution of our work.”
A strong believer in professional growth and development, Bassanelli holds memberships in the Association for California School Administrators, Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development, California School Boards Association and the National School Reform Faculty’s Critical Friends Group. She earned her bachelor’s degree from California State University, Sacramento and holds a master’s degree from the University of LaVerne. Bassanelli resides in Fair Oaks with her husband and has children who formerly attended San Juan Unified schools.
Current San Juan Unified Superintendent Kent Kern announced his intent to retire by the end of the 2022-23 school year in August and has committed to moving to a support role focused on the transition of the board from five to seven members this year as well as supporting the onboarding of the new superintendent.