July 1, 2010 (San Diego's East County) -- Ralf Swenson has been tentatively selected as the next superintendent of the Grossmont Union High School District contingent on successful contract negotiation, a positive community visit by the Governing Board to his current school district and further routine background checks.
The selection was made at a special meeting of the governing board on June 29, 2010. The selection followed a comprehensive national search conducted by Dave Long & Associates Executive Search Services. Mr. Swenson expects to join the District full time in August.
“Our Board is unanimous in our selection of Mr. Swenson. He is an exceptional educator with a passion for improving and enhancing educational opportunities for all secondary students, including Career Technical Education. He is also committed to building positive relationships with teacher leaders and staff across the District. We have confidence that Mr. Swenson will be a collaborative and student-centered leader who will help our schools and students succeed.” said School Board President Robert Shield.
Mr. Swenson has over 32 years of experience as a high school educator, most recently serving as the Superintendent of Nevada Joint Union High School District in Grass Valley, California for three years. He previously was in the Merced Union High School District where he served as principal of Golden Valley High School, a school he opened in 1994. He began his career as a social studies teacher and coach in North Dakota before coming to California in 1989.
As Superintendent in Grass Valley, Swenson proposed work furloughs and urged cooperation between labor and management in a district struggling with state budget cuts and teacher layoffs earlier this year.
Under his leadership, the district forged a public-private industry partnership to convert an under-utilized shop program site into a green-building training program for students with a local manufacturer. “They'll be learning transferable, real-life skills, “ Swenson said of the alternative education program, according to an article in the Nevada County’s Union newspaper on June 24, 2010. ”Research shows the 21st century job market has a higher emphasis on job skills, and students are not necessarily getting that at a liberal arts college.”
Swenson will replace former Superintendent Robert Collins, who left in June to accept a job in the private sector.