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Trustees appoint Lile interim superintendent

Wendy Alexander/Madera Tribune File Photo

Todd Lile has been named interim superintendent of Madera Unified School District.


Madera native put in charge

Madera Unified School District’s Board of Trustees has appointed a home-grown administrator to be the interim superintendent, to replace former superintendent Ed Gonzalez who was fired by the board last week. The board appointed Todd Lile, the school district’s chief academic officer, at a special meeting on Wednesday.

Board President Al Galvez announced the board’s unanimous decision after meeting for 
3 1/2 hours in closed session.

Lile has been in charge of the district’s three middle schools and its two high schools. He was not present when his appointment was announced.

Galvez made no other comment about the selection of Lile except to say that the terms of his compensation will be determined at a later date.

Lile, a Madera native, is known for his propensity for innovation in education. The search for new experiences in his chosen profession has taken him to classrooms in Honduras and Dubai and travels throughout the Middle East, Africa, and the Holy Land.

Lile began his education at John Adams Elementary and transferred to Howard School for the 5th and 6th grades.

He attended Thomas Jefferson Middle School, then moved on to Madera High in 1988 where basketball and football held his interest throughout.

While at Madera High, Lile was involved in the “Coyote Pride” project, which raised $11,000 to landscape the school. Today Lile is remembered as the spark plug of that effort.

After graduating from Madera High School in 1992, Lile enrolled at California State University, Fresno, where he graduated in 1996.

Ironically, after graduation from college, Lile was turned down by Madera High for a teaching internship. Clovis Unified, apparently seeing something that Madera missed, hired him as a special education history teacher. He spent one year at Clovis High and two years at Clovis West.

In 2000, Clovis Unified opened CART, the Center for Research and Technology, and offered Lile a job teaching psychology in the new school’s multimedia lab.

In July of that same year, he married Jessica Zapata, a teacher herself.

A short time thereafter the couple found themselves teaching at the American School in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

After teaching for two years in Honduras, their principal moved to Dubai and offered teaching jobs to both Todd and Jessica. They taught at the Dubai American Academy for five years.

In 2009, the Liles decided to return to the United States and he returned to CART.

Lile had been back at CART for one year when Sandon Schwartz, principal of Madera South High School at the time, called to entice him to Madera as one of his vice principals.

Lile took the job for the 2010/2011 school year. He remained in that position for 3 1/2 years and then moved into the principal’s chair after the district promoted Schwartz to the central office.

In 2015, Superintendent Ed Gonzalez sought him out for the job of Chief Academic Officer in charge of the district’s two high schools and three middle schools.

In an interview with the Tribune last year, Lile commented that he is excited about a number of things on the horizon for Madera Unified, and one of them is opening the new high school.

He said, “In my mind I see the opening day of the new school with the stallion band on one side and the coyote band on the other, welcoming the new student body to their brand new school. That’s the spirit of community we need to ignite.”


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