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Dr. Nellie Meyer Selected as Next MVLA Superintendent

After an extensive nationwide search, the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District’s (MVLA) five-member Board of Trustees unanimously selected Dr. Nellie Meyer as MVLA’s next Superintendent. Nellie Meyer, Ed.D. has served as the Superintendent of the Mount Diablo Unified School District (MDUSD) for the past six years.

“Dr. Meyer understands that our community wants our schools to give each student, from the lowest performing to the highest, the academic, social, and emotional tools not merely to realize her or his potential for an intellectually and emotionally gratifying life of learning, but to extend that potential,” said Dr. Phil Faillace. “She wants what we want, and has the talent, experience and skills, along with an intense focus on students’ well-being, to work with us to deliver what our community wants. She has a long and rich background in education and an abiding belief that all decisions should be based on respect for the individuality of each student and doing our best for her or him,” he added.

The Board of Trustees made its final decision with input gathered from all key stakeholder groups in the District. Focus groups and an online survey crafted by the Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates (HYA), the executive search firm contracted to assist MVLA, were used to identify what the community felt were essential characteristics of an ideal Superintendent.  Approximately 325 people participated in the focus groups, and 450 people completed the stakeholder survey.  MVLA parents comprised more than half of the survey participants and over a quarter of respondents were teachers, the second most populous stakeholder group.  The third largest participant group consisted of community members (7% of all respondents).

The top-rated leadership profile characteristics stakeholders desired in their new Superintendent were:

  • Foster a positive, professional climate of mutual trust and respect among faculty, staff, and administrators
  • Understand and be sensitive to the needs of a diverse student population
  • Recruit, employ, and retain effective personnel throughout the District and its schools
  • Demonstrate a deep understanding of educational research and emerging best practices and implement strategies
  • Provide transparent communication

“Dr. Meyer has made it abundantly evident that she is the person who best fits our desired profile,” said Dr. Faillace. “As a demonstration of her interest and commitment, she came here last week to meet with MVLA staff, site administrators, and union representatives, and we are grateful for the initiative and extra effort she put forth to have those important meetings.”

Dr. Meyer’s current district, Mt. Diablo Unified, is one of the largest in California.  It serves seven municipalities in Contra Costa County with more than 32,000 students, pre-kindergarten through 12th grade on 56 campuses.  MDUSD includes five comprehensive high schools, one continuation high school which was recently named a California Model Continuation High School, two adult education centers, nine middle schools, 28 elementary schools, and six alternative schools. 

Previously, Dr, Meyer served as the Deputy Superintendent of Academics for the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD).  She also served SDUSD as its Chief High School Improvement Officer, Executive Director of Dropout Prevention, Interim Chief Elementary School Improvement Officer, and its Assistant Superintendent of High Schools.

Dr. Meyer began her career in education as a teacher’s aide in one of San Diego’s most diverse elementary schools at the time, Jackson Elementary, while also pursuing her bachelor’s in Psychology. She holds teaching credentials in Social Science, English, and Language Development, and has had a range of classroom experiences across grade levels, from 5th grade Literacy, to 8th grade Algebra, to 12th grade Economics. While in SDUSD, Dr. Meyer also served in roles as a high school dean of students, vice principal, and principal.

Dr. Meyer obtained her master’s degree in Administration and her doctorate in Education from San Diego State University. Her doctoral thesis was on dropout prevention, an issue she remains passionate about and regularly presents on as a speaker and leadership coach.

Under the terms of her proposed contract, Dr. Meyer would begin a three-year term effective July 1, 2019, with an annual base salary of $302,500.