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Superintendent Kent Kern announces pending retirement

San Juan Unified School District Superintendent Kent Kern announced his pending retirement after nearly nine years in the role during a special meeting of the Board of Education held Aug. 4. The board will begin the search for the district’s next superintendent immediately. To assist with onboarding a new superintendent and the ongoing transition of the board from five to seven members, Kern has agreed to remain in his role through the superintendent search process and then move into a support role until his retirement. 


“Superintendent Kern has been the leader that San Juan Unified needed through difficult times,” said Board of Education President Dr. Michael McKibbin. “As a graduate of our schools and a lifelong employee, he has been able to navigate a difficult transition in leadership and a global pandemic while continuing to sharpen our focus on equity for our students and supporting classroom instruction.” 


Kern was appointed superintendent in March of 2014. During his tenure, the district has implemented strategic efforts to increase student, community and staff voices, greatly expanded efforts around equity, broadened access to intervention services including mental health, strengthened relationships with employee groups that allowed for flexibility during the pandemic and engaged in a rebuilding campaign of school facilities powered by $1 billion in community-approved bond funds. 


“San Juan Unified has some of the most dedicated and passionate staff of any school system and it has been my honor to join them and our amazing board of education in serving our students and community. I am excited to support the district through this transition of leadership and I will do everything possible to make sure our next superintendent and new board members are able to continue our important work,” said Kern. 

The board will meet again to discuss the next steps and potential timeline in naming a new superintendent at future board meetings. More information can be found at as it becomes available.