After the meeting at the district office at 111 S. De Anza Blvd., Nicholas said he realizes he has a learning curve ahead of him, but he’s eager to start.
“When you’re new, you get to learn a whole new community,” he said. “Riding around Mountain House, I got a good positive feeling.”
Board President Micaela Vergara said Nicholas was picked out of a field of four top candidates during interviews on June 7 and 8. She said the board had been scheduled to interview five “highly qualified” finalists, but one person dropped out.
She called Nicholas the “next district leader.”
“I’m totally excited,” she said. “I’m looking forward to our next chapter.”
Nicholas replaces retiring Superintendent Dale Hansen, who announced in late March that his final day on the job would be June 30.
Nicholas is scheduled to begin his new position July 1.
As for the challenges of the job, Nicholas believes implementing the Common Core State Standards will be important for the district in the coming year, requiring students to think on a higher level. He compared the initiative’s importance to the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.
He said another issue high on his priority list is coordinating major construction projects, such as the high school slated to open in August 2014 and future K-8 schools.
“There’s a lot of work to do,” he said. “The first time being a superintendent is exciting all by itself.”
Nicholas most recently served as the assistant superintendent of curriculum at Stockton Unified School District for more than four years. He also spent two years leading that district’s elementary education department for 48 kindergarten to eighth-grade schools and three years overseeing curriculum, instruction and categorical programs.
Nicholas resides in Stockton and is the father of four children, Maddie, 15, Max, 13, Zachary, 6, and Brielle, 4. He said he hadn’t ruled out moving to Mountain House.
Wednesday’s board meeting was attended by fewer than 10 people, because school was dismissed June 7 for the summer break.
Hansen announced that the district plans to have a reception for Nicholas during the August board meeting so more people can attend.
• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at 830-4225 or firstname.lastname@example.org.