Donna Lewis

Donna Lewis (Courtesy photo)

The Goleta Union School District has tapped San Mateo school administrator Donna Lewis to be its next superintendent, the district’s Board of Trustees announced Tuesday.

Lewis, the assistant superintendent of human resources for the San Mateo-Foster City School District, will take over from Bill Banning, who announced his retirement in January after five years at the helm.

The board said Lewis brings a “richly varied background” that includes a variety of instructional and administrative experience from preschool to college-aged students.

Lewis’ Bay Area school district has 20 K-8 schools with a total of 12,500 students. In Goleta, she will oversee nine schools and 3,700 students, about 28 percent of whom are English language learners.

In a statement, Lewis called the GUSD “inspiring because of its successful instructional programs, diverse student population, outstanding staff and close-knit community that values intimate neighborhood schools.”

The district board members interviewed five finalists on May 12, and is set to appoint her at its Wednesday meeting. They’ll make the hire official with employment contract approval at the June 14 meeting. 

“The board received a great deal of feedback from our community about the qualities the district is looking for in our next leader,” board president Luz Reyes-Martin said.

“Lewis has a proven track record of being a collaborative leader and facilitating student success. We look forward to welcoming her to Goleta.”

Banning’s June 30 retirement ends five years with the district and more than 35 as a public school educator.

The hiring is the latest in a line of new superintendents on the Santa Barbara County South Coast.

Last week, the Montecito Union school board hired Anthony Ranii, also of San Mateo County, as the new superintendent for the one-school district, and earlier this month, Cold Spring School District trustees appointed Amy Alzina as its new superintendent/principal. Alzina is currently principal of Santa Barbara Unified’s Adams Elementary School.

In April, Carpinteria Unified School District named Diana Rigby to its top post. She filled a vacant position after the board decided to terminate former superintendent Micheline Miglis’ contract in August. 

Noozhawk staff writer Sam Goldman can be reached at Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.