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GARDEN GROVE : School District Picks New Superintendent

Ron Walter has been named superintendent of the Garden Grove Unified School District effective Tuesday.

Walter, 58, was approved unanimously by the Board of Education at a meeting earlier this month. He replaces Ed Dundon, who retired in December after 20 years in that job.

Board President Dick Hain said after the meeting that Walter’s wide range of experience as a counselor, principal, administrator and business manager made him a perfect choice.

“Dr. Walter fitted exactly what we need. We feel very confident in his capabilities. . . . He understands the diversity of the student population we have and is a student-oriented superintendent,” he said.

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Walter, a district administrator for more than 25 years, has served as acting superintendent since Jan. 1. Before that, he was the associate superintendent for business services.

He said that he is looking forward to the challenge the job offers.

“It’s a huge job because it’s such a large district. But it’s a job that I think I’ve been preparing for for a number of years in terms of experience, educational background and my interest and desire,” he said.

Walter will be responsible for the daily operation of Garden Grove’s largest employer and the 11th-largest school district in the state.

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There are 41,340 students attending district schools in Garden Grove and portions of Santa Ana, Anaheim, Westminster, Cypress, Stanton and Fountain Valley, spokesman Alan Trudell said.

Walter said his immediate goals include meeting with administrators, parents and teachers districtwide to discuss the district’s strengths and weaknesses.

He said school programs and services are excellent but the district should do more to encourage parental involvement in children’s education.

“We’re working on that with things like parent education classes and meeting with groups of parents,” he said.

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Walter began his career in 1958 as a math teacher in Detroit schools. He moved to California as a guidance counselor in 1964 and later became assistant principal at Garden Grove High School.

He served as principal at several local schools and joined the district administration as a business manager in 1981, Trudell said.

He received a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from the University of Michigan and his doctorate in school administration from UC Riverside.


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