SOUTH PASADENA — Warren Newman, assistant superintendent of the South Pasadena Unified School District for four years, has been named superintendent by the Board of Education.
He will assume his new duties next week, when his predecessor, Thomas Brierley, becomes superintendent of the Carlsbad Unified School District.
The board's unanimous choice of Newman was announced Monday, coinciding with his 51st birthday. Some school officials said the board strongly favored Newman and mentioned him as a possible Brierley successor almost immediately after receiving word of Brierley's resignation in mid-May.
Board President Robert Hartsfield said Newman's name came up frequently during a recent survey conducted by the district to determine what qualities the community wanted in its next superintendent. Hartsfield called the survey "an extremely large voluntary response of an amazing cross section" of South Pasadena residents and school affiliates.
In choosing Newman, Hartsfield said, the district saved an estimated $15,000 it might have spent on a professional search for a superintendent.
"We knew we had (in Newman) a very positive individual--a leader who could start running faster than a new person would with the programs we've just begun and are planning," Hartsfield said.
The 3,300-student district, in which enrollment has been dropping by 2% a year, has closed three elementary schools and was restructured last year to create five-year elementary schools, a three-year middle school and a four-year high school.
Officials would not disclose Newman's salary.
The board chose Newman in an executive session on June 19 but withheld the announcement until he returned from Washington, D.C., where he chaired a special grants panel for the National Endowment for the Arts.
"I am very honored," Newman said. "I've wanted to be superintendent of a good district, and this is superb."
Newman was assistant director of program evaluation, research and pupil service and administrator of management services for the Los Angeles County Office of Education four years ago when Brierley offered him the assistant superintendency.