Merced Union High School District Superintendent Scott Scambray has been hired as the superintendent of a Fullerton school district.
The Fullerton Joint Union High School District’s board of trustees voted unanimously to hire him during a meeting Tuesday. He’ll remain the head of Merced Union through June 30.
The Fullerton board will continue to negotiate with him on his contract there, the Fullerton superintendent’s office said.
Scambray has been with Merced Union since July 1, 2008. “(I’m) just looking for the next challenge,” the 55-year-old said. “This is a great district. But I’ve been here seven years and, again, just looking for the next challenge.”
Though the wheels were turning before his arrival, Scambray oversaw the construction of El Capitan High. He was at the helm when the district made the push to get voters to pass a bond in November 2008 that allowed the district to match state funds to build the $90 million campus in north Merced.
The bond also helped the district put in a swimming pool at more than one site and make other upgrades around the district.
Scambray said he is particularly proud of the district’s ability to ready the six high schools with technology infrastructure. As of next year, all of the schools will provide each student with a laptop computer.
He said he believes the district is in good financial standing, at least in the near future. He said the district, like its counterparts statewide, does have a looming challenge in trying to deal with the statewide shortage of teachers in the coming years.
The board of trustees for the district was aware that Scambray was looking for a position in another district, according to board member Dora Crane.
“I view it as a real loss for the district,” she said. “Dr. Scambray’s taken us a long way from where we were.”
She said she’s particularly pleased with how the district’s test scores have risen and expulsions have fallen. Student participation in extracurricular activity has also gone up, she said, which could lead those teens to remain engaged in school.
In the 2007-08 school year, the last one before Scambray’s term, the district doled out 6,018 days of suspension and tallied 544 fights or assaults. In the last complete school year, there were 1,951 days of suspension and 242 fights or assaults.
Graduation rates across the district during that same time climbed from 86.6 percent to 91.1 percent. The state average for last year was 80.8 percent.
“There’s lots of great things that happened in the last seven years,” Crane said. “And I think it came from good leadership.”
Richard Lopez, vice president of the board of trustees, said the district has increased the number of students in Advanced Placement classes and improved attendance rates under Scambray’s administration.
Scambray is ready for “new horizons,” Lopez said. “I think he accomplished what he set out to accomplish for the Merced Union High School District,” he said.
Scambray spoke highly of the faculty and staff in the district. “I’m very proud of everything we’ve accomplished,” he said. “The district has a wonderful reputation and just (has) incredibly dedicated employees.”
The Merced Union board is expected to decide in the coming month how it will fill the position after Scambray’s departure.
At a glance
Superintendent Scott Scambray’s time at Merced Union High School District
- 2007-08 graduation rate: 86.6 percent
- 2007-08 days of suspension: 6,018
- 2013-14 graduation rate: 91.1 percent
- 2013-14 days of suspension: 1,951