CARLSBAD — As Dr. Suzette Lovely’s tenure atop the Carlsbad Unified School District winds down, the district has announced its new superintendent.
Dr. Benjamin Churchill was tapped as the new leader of the CUSD after a search community whittled down the candidates. Churchill is currently the chief academic officer for the Community School District in Algonquin, Ill.
He will be introduced to the community on Wednesday during the school board meeting and assume the position July 1.
“Carlsbad is an outstanding community with committed parents, excellent teachers and staff, and a tradition of excellence,” Churchill said in a press release. “It is my goal to lead Carlsbad from excellent to exceptional and to establish CUSD as a nationally recognized model for innovation and achievement.”
Churchill, 43, currently oversees all aspects of teaching and learning in 27 school sites for nearly 21,000 students in grades Pre-K through 12 in a culturally and economically diverse school community located 40 minutes from Chicago.
Under his leadership, the district has designed and implemented Career Pathways Programs in 11 areas, expanded dual enrollment with a local community college and made progress in closing the achievement gap. He previously served as an assistant superintendent of teaching and learning, high school principal, associate principal of curriculum and instruction and a high school English teacher. He began his 20-year career in education teaching English for six years in China.
Churchill earned his Educational Doctorate from Argosy University, a master’s degree in school leadership from Northeastern Illinois University, another master’s degree in teaching and learning from DePaul University, and a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Valparaiso University.
Ben, his wife Nichole, and their two school-age daughters are planning to relocate to the Carlsbad area this summer. The family is thrilled to be joining the active community of parents and other committed stakeholders in the district.
“I’m excited because Dr. Churchill’s experience and personal qualities are exactly what the Board and our community stakeholders wanted to see in the next leader,” said CUSD Board President Claudine Jones. “For the past four years, Dr. Lovely has successfully led our school district as we implemented a rigorous College and Career Readiness Program while strengthening employee-district relations. We know that Dr. Churchill will continue these initiatives as he leads us toward our district’s vision.”
CUSD is a TK-12 district with more than 11,000 students who attend two comprehensive high schools, three middle schools, nine elementary schools, one alternative high school and one independent study school.
Recently, Hope, Pacific Rim and Aviara Oaks elementary schools were awarded the distinction of California Gold Ribbon Schools.
The district boasts a stellar graduation rate of 94 percent with more than 75 percent of students meeting the University of California and California State University admission requirements. CUSD is also part of San Diego Career Pathways consortium that recently won $13 million to expand career pathway opportunities for high school students.
Carlsbad High School was ranked in the top 10 percent of high schools in the state in the 2016 US News and World Report “Best High Schools” issue and is a two-year recipient of the College Board’s AP Honor Roll designation for expanded access and achievement in AP courses.
Steve Puterski covers Carlsbad and Vista. For tips or story ideas, contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @StevePuterski.