Last night the Novato Unified School District Board of Trustees took proactive action to ensure the continuity of superintendent leadership with a clear succession plan. The single most important role of the Board of Trustees is to hire a strong superintendent and to ensure consistency in implementing our district goals and priorities.

I am excited to share with you that on April 3, 2018, the Board of Trustees made the decision to promote Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, Kris Cosca, to Deputy Superintendent of Human Resources and Strategic Development, taking effect July 1, 2018. The Board also confirmed that when I decide to leave Novato Unified, Kris will become the next superintendent.  As I conclude my third year of a six-year contract, and expect to be here for the foreseeable future, having a valued and proven leader such as Kris in place to take over the reins when I leave is a bold and forward-thinking move.

This succession plan will provide consistency and allow NUSD to continue its work without interruption.  This will also provide cost savings to the district as Superintendent searches are expensive and usually cost around $25,000 to hire a search firm to conduct the process. A superintendent search can distract the district from focusing on student learning.  This succession plan will allow NUSD to ensure continuity of leadership and also ensure that the implementation of our key district initiatives will continue.

Let me tell you a little about Kris.  He is completing his third year as Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources and has become a trusted advisor for me here at NUSD. Within the Human Resources Department, Kris has overseen the reorganization of the NUSD Human Resources Department to provide better customer service, developed and rolled out the “Modeling the Way Award” for employee appreciation based upon the 6 C’s of the Graduate Profile, and coaches and provides leadership development of principals and other managers. He has 25 years in public education and has served as a classroom teacher, assistant principal, principal, director of curriculum and instruction, and both director and assistant superintendent of human resources. Additionally, Kris is certified to serve as a school business official and earned his doctorate in organizational leadership. More important than all of that is Kris’ personality, intellect, values and leadership style that make him the right person to lead this district forward in the future.

I am very proud to work with our NUSD Board of Trustees and commend them for this courageous action.  Their focus on what’s best for students and the district is clearly demonstrated with this succession plan. School districts do not typically plan for this type of transition, instead they wait for their superintendent to inform them of their impending departure and begin a search for their new leader.  Our Board clearly understands their role and that hiring an exemplary superintendent is their most important responsibility.  Someone with Kris’ talent and skills does not come along very often, and I am thrilled that we have been able to secure his services in NUSD for years to come.

Jim Hogeboom