• Board Approves Employment Agreement for Interim Superintendent



    At the December 11 Board of Education meeting, trustees approved an employment agreement for Interim Superintendent Services with current Deputy Superintendent Craig Rydquist, effective January 13, 2018 through June 30, 2018. 


    In closed session at the November 20 Board of Education meeting, trustees directed staff to prepare an agenda item for the December 11 board meeting appointing Deputy Superintendent Craig Rydquist to Interim Superintendent. If approved, the appointment will be effective January 16, 2018. With Modesto City Schools since September 1984, Rydquist is in his 34th year in education.

    Mr. Rydquist spent eight and a half years teaching at La Loma Junior High and Beyer and Downey high schools, and eight and a half years as a principal or assistant principal at a variety of junior high and high schools. He moved into district office administration, working four years as the Director, Assessment and Evaluation, six years as an Associate Superintendent, Educational Services, and four years as the Associate Superintendent, Human Resources, before being named Deputy Superintendent, Chief Human Resources Official in July 2015.

    Mr. Rydquist has a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration from Chapman University, a Single Subject Credential from the University of the Pacific, a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from UCLA and is an alumnus of Beyer High School.

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    Modesto City Schools Superintendent Pam Able announced her plan to retire, effective January 16, 2018. Able served 27 years in education, six and a half of those years as superintendent. The Board of Education announced Able’s selection as superintendent March 29, 2011, the first woman to hold the post.

    “I’ve been fortunate to work with an outstanding team of professionals who always have our students at the center of every decision,” Able said. “It has been an honor and privilege to serve the students and families in Modesto City Schools. I will always be our students’ biggest cheerleader and fan.”

    Able started her career as a teacher in Stanislaus Union School District. She joined Modesto City Schools in 1994 as a teacher at Elliott Alternative Education Center, and then taught kindergarten at Burbank Elementary before moving into administration; first as a vice principal at Marshall Elementary, then principal at Everett Elementary. Able continued to work in administration in a variety jobs, including State and Federal Programs and Human Resources, before the board named her superintendent.

    During her tenure, Able increased graduation rates from 76.3% in 2010-2011, to 87.7% in 2015-2016; decreased dropout rates from 17.9% in 2010-2011, to 7% in 2015-2016; and decreased suspension rates in grades K-8 from 12% in 2010-2011, to 3.7% in 2016-2017, and grades 9-12 from 17% in 2010-2011, to 5.1% in 2016-2017. In 2014, Able implemented the district’s pilot digital high school, Digital Davis, and then expanded the 1:1 device program to all high schools in the district in 2017. Other programs implemented by Able include Middle College, computer literacy at elementary schools, PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions & Supports), PeaceBuilders and Restorative Justice.

    Able led the district out of the recession, implementing the state’s new funding formula, Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) and accountability measures, Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP). She expanded Career Technical Education (CTE) programs, collaborating with local businesses to expand opportunities for students, and grew partnerships with Doctors Medical Center, E&J Gallo Winery, Gallo Center for the Arts, CSU Stanislaus, Center for Human Services and Sierra Vista Child and Family Services.

    Modesto City Schools is composed of an elementary district (K-8) and a high school district (9-12) with a common Board of Education and administration. The district serves over 30,000 students in 22 elementary schools (K-6), four junior high schools (7-8), seven comprehensive high schools (9-12), and an alternative education program that includes an opportunity and continuation school, independent study and adult evening high school. With a staff of over 3,200 employees and an additional 1,000 subs, the district is one of the largest employers in Stanislaus County.

    The Board of Education will consider next steps for Able’s replacement in closed session at the November 20 board meeting.