MURRIETA, CA — The Murrieta Valley Unified School District Board of Trustees is scheduled this week to approve the employment contract of its new superintendent.
The board announced last week that Dr. Ward Andrus was unanimously selected by the board as the new MVUSD leader. His employment contract that begins July 1 is expected to be approved during Thursday’s 5 p.m. board meeting.
As of Monday morning, MVUSD spokesperson Monica Gutierrez said salary information for Andrus was not yet available.
Andrus currently serves as superintendent for Central Union High School District in El Centro. He was tapped for the MVUSD position following a national search that began after current Superintendent Patrick Kelley announced in October he would retire at the end of the 2021-22 school year to spend more time with family.
In a letter to the MVUSD community, Kelley said he submitted his notice early so the district would have time to fill the superintendency position. As part of the search effort, a community forum was held in January. The event sought input on what qualities the district’s next superintendent should have. An online survey was also opened for additional community feedback.
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“These efforts yielded an incredibly talented and impressive list of candidates from which the Board unanimously selected Dr. Andrus,” according to an MVUSD statement.
Andrus has served as a teacher, vice principal, principal, executive director, interim assistant superintendent, and superintendent during his education career that has spanned more than two decades.
Prior to CUHSD, Andrus served in several administrative positions for the Placer County Office of Education, San Juan Unified, Folsom-Cordova Unified and the Stockton Unified School District, the district said.
“Murrieta Valley has been blessed with superintendents who have continuously raised the bar while building relationships with the community,” MVUSD Board President Kris Thomasian said. “Dr. Andrus, for the past 24 years, has dedicated himself to the same educational standards and has been steadfast in his approach to academic excellence.”
“My family and I are delighted to join the Murrieta Valley community,” Andrus said. “I am honored to be selected by the Board of Trustees to continue the strong foundation established by my predecessors. As I transition from one incredible community to the next, my immediate priority is meeting students, staff, parents, and community members. I look forward to strengthening partnerships and serving Murrieta.”
Andrus earned his doctorate from the University of La Verne in organizational leadership, his master of arts degree from CSU Sacramento, and his bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University.
Andrus has served as a missionary in Peru and is fluent in Spanish. In his free time, he enjoys serving his church and spending time with his wife, Debbie, and their four children and five grandchildren, according to the MVUSD.