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BCSD's superintendent named to superintendency in San Bernardino

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BCSD Superintendent Doc Ervin introduces a speaker during a Father Engagement Expo in 2018.

Bakersfield City School District's Superintendent Doc Ervin was appointed to be superintendent of the San Bernardino City Unified School District in a board meeting late Tuesday night.

"This is a great opportunity to further impact students in K-12 education," he told the San Bernardino board, which unanimously approved him during a virtual meeting.

Ervin will start his new position at the school district in Southern California's Inland Empire on July 1, according to a news release from the San Bernardino district. The district's board has plans to formally ratify Ervin's contract at its April 6 meeting. He will work with interim superintendent Harold Vollkommer to ensure a smooth transition, the release said.

Ervin began his superintendency at BCSD in July 2016. He previously served as a superintendent for three years in Greenfield Union School District in Monterey County and six years as an assistant superintendent of the Partnerships for Los Angeles Schools.

A statement from BCSD touts Ervin's leadership establishing systems and structures to support teaching and learning, including the Blueprint for Academic Success. BCSD Board President Pam Baugher pointed to the creation of the Family and Community Engagement  department, which increased parent involvement by bringing a FACE liaison to every school and districtwide programs such as Parent University.

Baugher said that she's sad to see Ervin go, but appreciates the work that he's done for the district. She believes the initiatives he championed will have a lasting impact. 

"We’ve done very well under his leadership," said Baugher.

It's too early for the board to take action since Ervin hasn't signed his contract or formally offered his resignation letter. But Baugher notes the board will have its regular monthly meeting next Tuesday.

She was a part of the board's nationwide search that landed Ervin. She said the board will soon be faced with the decision of promoting from within the district or launching another search.

Baugher said she had "an inkling" Ervin might leave at some point, because he was the target of recruiters.

"I’m not happy to see him go at all, but I appreciate that he needs to do what he needs to do," she said.

Steven Comstock Jr., president of the Bakersfield Elementary Teacher's Association, wished Ervin well in his new venture in a statement on behalf of the association.

"COVID created unequaled uncertainty in education, but under his administration's leadership, BCSD leads the way in high-quality, safe, and effective instruction," he wrote. "Student safety and well-being was and remain this district's primary focus."

Ervin was one of 20 applicants selected during a nationwide search, according to SBCUSD. The district's community sought a leader with "a successful track record working in a socioeconomically diverse, multicultural community with similar demographics to San Bernardino."

Ervin portrayed his move as an opportunity to do work on a larger scale. BCSD is a K-8 district with more than 30,000 students. His new position in San Bernardino will be in a unified K-12 district with 49,000 students, one of the largest in California. 

"​I am pleased to accept the position of superintendent of the San Bernardino City Unified School District as it provides me with an opportunity to further impact students in K-12 education on a larger scale," he said in a statement from BCSD.

The district was also impressed with Ervin's bilingual abilities. On Tuesday, he offered a few words in Spanish at the request of a board member. 

"I look forward to working with the community of San Bernardino," he said. "I hope we can work together in the future. Thanks to the board for this opportunity."