At the December 12 CCUSD School Board meeting, the five-member board of education voted unanimously to appoint Leslie Lockhart as Superintendent of the Culver City Unified School District.
“Leslie Lockhart has been serving as interim superintendent for these past six months, and has demonstrated that she has the talent, vision, passion, and skills to be CCUSD’s next superintendent,” said School Board President Kathy Paspalis. “As a long-time employee of CCUSD, she knows the district extremely well, is invested in it, and is already doing the job admirably. Furthermore, when we asked the parent and stakeholder communities and CCUSD staff about the qualities of our next superintendent, Leslie received unsolicited widespread support. We are thrilled to be able to find our next superintendent right here within CCUSD.”
Ms. Lockhart was appointed Interim Superintendent in June 2017, when the previous superintendent was dismissed. A school board’s one and only employee is the district superintendent; it is one of their most important duties to hire, and retain or terminate that person, a duty the current Board takes very seriously.
Ms. Lockhart, the first African-American to serve as CCUSD Superintendent, has a long history with the district as well as with the children currently enrolled in the schools, including her own. She was the Assistant Principal at Culver City High School, and the Principal of El Rincon before moving to the district office to be Director of Categorical Programs, after which she has served as Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources for the past seven years. Ms. Lockhart has been with the district 19 years all told.
As an educator for the past 30 years, Ms. Lockhart earned her master’s degrees in educational administration and business administration from Pepperdine University and her bachelor’s degree from UCLA. Her list of accomplishments within CCUSD is long. As assistant principal of Culver City High School, Ms. Lockhart developed, maintained, evaluated, implemented and enhanced extracurricular activities that helped to promote student achievement and general student well-being. Lockhart also created the Student Inter-Cultural Advisory Committee where students were trained in the anti-hate and anti-bias curriculum.
Under her guidance, from 2004 to 2008 Academic Performance Index scores increased from 786 to 835 at El Rincon. She piloted the full-day kindergarten program, created 5th-grade Exit Portfolios presentations, and the 5th-grade ballroom dance program. Lockhart also piloted the Growing Great Program and created the annual Cultural Faire where all cultures are celebrated and appreciated. Due to her efforts, El Rincon became a Global Science Focus School, where a hands-on science lab serves students with a science staff development center for elementary school teachers district wide. She also implemented community and global awareness programs, including a malaria documentary and fundraiser and a fundraiser to help support the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
In 2016, Ms. Lockhart was named Personnel/Human Resources Administrator of the Year for the Association of California School Administrators Region XIV. Her accomplishments have only been touched upon here.
“I wholeheartedly accept this full time position. It is my honor and privilege to continue to serve CCUSD as Superintendent,” said Leslie Lockhart. “I thank the board for their vote of confidence in me, and the staff and community for their steadfast support. As I have done for the past 19 years, I will work daily with the best interests of the children of this District in mind.”
While acting as Interim Superintendent, Ms. Lockhart continued in her job as Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources. With her appointment to Superintendent today, the search for a new Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources will begin immediately