Roughly two years after taking the helm as superintendent of Burbank Unified, Stan Carrizosa is going back to the Central Valley.
On Friday, the affable superintendent announced his decision to serve as president the College of the Sequoias in Visalia, Calif. — the city where he previously served as superintendent of schools before moving to Burbank — effective July 1.
In his announcement, Carrizosa acknowledged the short turnaround, but said he was humbled to have the opportunity to move to a “new level of educational leadership.”
“I have never left a position after such a short tenure, so the unexpected timing of this change is a new experience for me,” he said in his statement. “In this short time however, I have learned what many of you know so well, and that is how unique and special this community is, and the vital role [Burbank Unified] plays in shaping this wonderful culture.”
Carrizosa will replace interim college President/Supt. Brent Calvin at a campus of roughly 13,000 students. The college's budget, as is the case in the rest of the state, has been in a perpetual state of downsizing as California waddles through its own deficit crises.
In video footage of a recent student forum, Calvin told an audience of students that the college — with a current annual budget of roughly $41 million — was drawing on a line of credit to pay its faculty while it waited for the state to release funding.
Greg Sherman, president of the College of the Sequoias Board of Trustees, said the campus is coping with a $4.5-million budget cut this year, with another $2.1 million hit possible.
Given Carrizosa's experience in dealing with maintaining education standards amid reduced funding from the state, “Stan just stood out,” Sherman said.
The board vote was unanimous.
“We're excited to have him; sorry you guys lost him;” Sherman said.
Reached by phone Friday in Visalia, Carrizosa said the budget situation “loomed large” as he prepared for the adjustment from managing a K-12 system to a community college.
He plans to spend the summer reaching out to stakeholders and those at the college's various satellite campuses in the Central Valley, he said.
At a board meeting in Visalia earlier in the day, he addressed those stakeholders by highlighting his ability to bring parties together to achieve common goals.
The search for an interim replacement in Burbank has begun in earnest. The school board scheduled a special Sunday meeting to discuss the issue.
In a statement issued after Carrizosa's announcement, Burbank Unified school board President Debbie Kukta assured residents of a smooth transition.
“Due in large part to his efforts, the district is well positioned to continue our forward movement as we strive for excellence in education,” she said.
School board member Ted Bunch declined to say when an announcement on an interim superintendent might be made, except to say that it would be “very soon.”
He echoed Kukta's assessment of the transition and the district post-Carrizosa.
“It's running much better than it ever has before,” Bunch said.
In the meantime, Carrizosa said in the interview that he would work on a transition plan with the Burbank school board, which he lauded for having “a deep, deep passion for the community.”