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VCUSD Superintendent William Spalding Announces Retirement

Spalding will leave VCUSD on June 30, 2024.

VALLEJO, Calif. – William Spalding, the Superintendent of Vallejo City Unified School District (VCUSD), now in his fourth year, has announced his decision to retire on June 30, 2024, culminating a 37-year journey in public education.

Reflecting on his tenure, Spalding expressed gratitude for the portion of his career in Vallejo, initially as a vice principal contributing to the establishment of Jesse Bethel High School and most recently as Superintendent of VCUSD. “My return to the district granted me the privilege to reconnect with a community that holds a special place in my heart,” Spalding shared. “The support and trust extended by the Board of Education have been instrumental in driving positive change and progress.”

Assuming office during the global pandemic’s challenges, Spalding first navigated the district by joining VCUSD when the district was in online instruction and implementing robust safety protocols. His advocacy secured vaccines for school staff, enabling a safe return to in-person learning, and forged partnerships focused on a safe in-person return of students and staff.

Spalding’s tenure was marked by transformative initiatives, including the inception of the district’s strategic plan for the 2022-27 academic years. This comprehensive plan introduces the “Portrait of a VCUSD Graduate,” outlining the skills and knowledge students acquire upon high school graduation.

Under his leadership, VCUSD pursued a systemic approach to academic improvement, implementing regular student assessments, focused instructional priorities, and robust support structures like social-emotional learning (SEL) and multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS). Notably, literacy initiatives, Science of Reading methodologies, and enhancement of site leadership teams were prioritized to elevate educational standards.

A significant achievement during his tenure was working to pay off the district’s 20-year loan and continued fiscal sustainability. This involved strategic measures such as downsizing surplus properties and repurposing facilities, shielding the district from continued liability, and generating substantial proceeds from property sales.

Christy Gardner, VCUSD Board President, expressed gratitude for Spalding’s service, emphasizing his pivotal role in leading the district through unprecedented challenges while achieving milestones like the strategic plan’s implementation, improved student outcomes, and fiscal recovery.

“During Superintendent Spalding’s time in VCUSD, he has strongly emphasized student involvement and actively sought out student voices,” VCUSD Board of Education President Gardner said. “He included the addition of a student trustee on the board and provided opportunities for our students to present about their schools at meetings. This dedication is reflected in the revamped mission and vision and the inaugural district strategic plan. He has consistently upheld the district’s promise to voters by overseeing the modernization of our school campuses and enhancing communication systems and organizational structures. Superintendent Spalding’s departure will be deeply felt, but we appreciate how his legacy positions the district exceptionally well to advance and expand upon his achievements with new leadership.”

Having dedicated his entire career to Northern California schools, Spalding’s journey to VCUSD began after a stint as superintendent for the Galt Joint Union High School District and Dos Palos Oro Loma Joint Unified School District. His passion for students also saw him contributing his expertise to establishing the first-ever dual-immersion school in the San Juan Unified School District and a celebrated CTE program in the Washington Unified School District. Spalding began his educational career in 1987, starting as a teacher in the Winters Joint Unified School District following his college education.

As VCUSD initiates the search for Spalding’s successor, Board President Gardner assured community involvement in defining the desired traits of the following district leader. Staff, families, and the community can provide valuable input during this selection process.