It isn’t often you hear students, teachers and administrators alike all praising the school board for a decision it has made, but that’s the case in Madera right now. Plaudits are being handed out for the board’s decision to hire Madera native and Madera High School alum Todd Lile as the Madera Unified School District’s new superintendent.
The search for the new superintendent began after the board made a decision in February of this year which didn’t win it much praise — to fire then-Superintendent Ed Gonzalez. A popular superintendent with faculty, Gonzalez was not so popular with some board members, who professed an inability to get along with him. The decision to buy out the remainder of Gonzlez’s contract “without cause” was met with criticism and derision, and much sadness on the part of those who admired Gonzalez.
But Lile’s appointment has taken the sharp edges off the firing of Gonzalez and smoothed out relationships among virtually all those affected by administration of the school district.
A new district motto, “We Believe,” has been adopted, and as school has opened, buildings and classrooms are being energized by Lile’s leadership.
There is a sense that MUSD can be a better place for students and teachers alike.
It should be noted here that Gonzalez’s superintendency was by no means a failure. He laid much of the framework for the new school directions being enjoyed today. Virginia Lee Rose Elementary School, just opened, was begun under his watch, and the new Matilda Torres High School, soon to be built, was part of his vision.
But its pretty clear the board made the right decisions, given the circumstances, to move MUSD into a new era.