Central Unified Hires McCully as Interim Superintendent

August 5, 2009 8:46:56 PM PDT
Students in the Central Unified School District will return to class next week with a new superintendent. But the man temporarily replacing former Superintendent Marilou Rider isn't a complete stranger to the Valley. Chuck McCully is known for helping schools in transition. Since retiring from Fresno Unified in 1997 he's served as an interim superintendent in five different California districts.

Central Unified Administrators say they have so much momentum going into a new school year they don't want to slow down now.

McCully is a familiar face in the Fresno County education field, and says it's good to be back in the Valley. He said, "I didn't even blink when I was contacted and asked to serve at Central Unified."

McCully is the former superintendent of Fresno Unified, leading the district from the early to mid nineties. It was when he returned as an interim superintendent in 2005 that he helped turn things around for Fresno Unified when the district was in danger of being taken over by the state.

"We were able to do some things that set the district back on the right track fiscally and from what I understand the district is moving along quite nicely," said McCully.

McCully says his role here won't be as dramatic. Mike Berg, Assistant Superintendent of Business Services says fortunately Central Unified is fiscally sound, ready for this school year and already planning for 2010 and 2011.

Berg said, "We're still a growing district while a lot of other districts are declining. While we have slowed this year we still anticipate 500 students over the next 10 years."

Residents in the growing Central Fresno County community passed a 152 million dollar bond measure to fund district wide improvements, new classrooms and a new middle school. McCully says his focus will be on keeping the ball rolling.

"To make sure that we don't fall behind to make decisions on a day to day basis as they are needed so that when that new superintendent does arrive, he or she can hit the ground running," said McCully.

McCully will serve as interim superintendent for the next few months. Then he says he says it's back to retirement.

Central Unified will discuss plans to look for superintendent candidates during their next school board meeting on Tuesday.

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