By Chris Frost
COMPTON—The Compton Unified School District Board of Trustees approved Dr. Carmella Franco as the new interim superintendent during its meeting on Tuesday, July 26.
Franco is an alumna of California State University at Los Angeles, where she graduated Cum Laude with a degree in music, and a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education. She earned a doctorate in nontraditional negotiation methods from the University of La Verne, and lectured for the school’s doctoral program and Educational Administration Department.
The trustees approved her contract, which runs from June 28 until Aug. 30, with a onemonth extension option.
Trustee Mae Thomas cast the lone no vote against Franco.
“Franco retired, but can serve a limited term,” Trustee Skyy Fisher said. “Her situation is similar to Lamont Ewell when he was the interim Compton city manager. I think her exemplary service in education speaks for itself and we can expect her to emulate some of her career achievements and move our district in the right direction during her short tenure.”
Franco replaced Karen Frison, who asked not to be considered for the permanent position. She completed her tenure on June 30.
Franco’s performing arts background pleased Fisher.
“I expressed my commitment to growing our arts programs in the district and ensuring our students are equipped with the latest classroom technology,” he said.
He said communication skills are a tremendous asset Franco brings to the CUSD.
She sent out robo-calls inviting people to a meet-and-greet event at the district office on Monday, July 7, Fisher said.
“She is an experienced, highly qualified superintendent but does not want the job permanently,” Trustee Satra Zurita said. “We did not want to leave the position vacant while we complete our search.”
Franco has more than 40 years of education experience, including successful stints as a teacher, principal and superintendent.
Her administrative career began in the Rowland Unified School District before she served as a kindergarten through eighth grade principal at the Bassett Unified School District, and leading the Lennox School District Personnel Department.
Franco was appointed as the state trustee for the Alisal Union School District in May 2010 to improve below-average test scores and oversee the board of education, which was marred with internal fighting that spilled over to public meetings.
She guided the school board through a series of developmental workshops, and left the district on May 25, after it returned to self-governance.
Franco also served 12 years as superintendent of the Whittier School District, and one year as interim superintendent for the Woodland Joint Unified School District.
She continues serving communities at the local, statewide and national levels.
Franco is active with Rotary International and is the former and current president of the Los Angeles International Airport and Whittier clubs, respectively.
She currently sits on the
Board of Directors of the Greater Whittier YMCA.
Her state contributions include serving as a director for the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) Superintendents Academy and as president of the California City School Superintendents and the California Association of Latino Superintendents and Administrators.
In a statement, CUSD Board of Trustees President Marge Garrett said the group will complete its search in the next 60 days.
The next CUSD Board of Trustees meeting is on Tuesday, July 10.