LUSD picks superintendent 'finalist'
by Denise Ellen Rizzo
Jun 12, 2013 | 2875 views | 0 0 comments | 93 93 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Officials from the Lammersville Unified School District are in negotiations with a top administrator from Stockton to hire him as the district’s next superintendent.

Kirk Nicholas, 46, assistant superintendent of curriculum at Stockton Unified School District, was announced this week by the district as the “finalist” for the position.

Nicholas was chosen by the LUSD Board of Trustees following one-on-one interviews with four candidates on Friday, June 7, and Saturday, June 8, at the district office, 111 S. De Anza Blvd.

Nicholas’ experience includes creating a blueprint for SUSD’s student achievement, obtaining a $34.2 million grant for school improvements and expanding instructional technology across the district, according to LUSD.

During his 22 years in education, Nicholas also spent time as a teacher and principal before becoming an assistant superintendent in Stockton.

“I think every person that works in education is looking to make a difference in the lives of children,” Nicholas said during a telephone interview Wednesday, June 12. “It was time to take on the next set of challenges.

Trustee David Pombo said Nicholas was picked because of his “energy and passion” for education and students.

“I think we made an excellent choice,” Pombo said.

Board spokeswoman Noel Balzarini said the district is in negotiations with Nicholas regarding his employment contract, and the board is expected to finalize his hire with a vote at its meeting Wednesday, June 19.

Superintendent Dale Hansen announced on March 29 that he is retiring on June 30.

Pombo said the board hopes to have Nicholas start work by July 1.

Nicholas said he has “some big shoes to fill” when replacing Hansen.

“He’s done an excellent job running that district,” Nicholas said. “That’s the kind of school district I’d be proud to lead.”

Hired to find Hansen’s replacement were Phil Quon and Sally Frazier of La Quinta-based Leadership Associates — the same firm that conducted the search that resulted in his hiring as superintendent.

According to Quon, there were 22 applicants for the position.

“We do a very thorough research on the candidates, and from all that background work we come up with a list and go to the board,” Quon said. “All that matters is Dr. Nicholas prevailed.”

Nicholas has a bachelor’s degree in communications from University of California, San Diego, a master’s degree in history from California State University, Stanislaus, and a doctorate in educational leadership from University of the Pacific.

• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at 830-4225 or

Editor's note: This story was updates on Thursday, June 13.
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