Mountain View-Los Altos High School District board members unanimously agreed to hire Nellie Meyer, a long-time California school administrator, to be the district's next superintendent, according to a Monday statement by the district. She begins her new role in July.
Meyer has served for six years as the superintendent of the Mount Diablo Unified School District, a district in the East Bay with more than 32,000 students and five high schools. She previously worked in multiple administrative roles at San Diego Unified School District, including jobs focused solely on high school programs and dropout prevention.
Launching her teaching career in Southern California, Meyer started as a teacher's aide at Jackson Elementary School, where the vast majority of students qualified for subsidized meals and many spoke English as a second language. She taught grades ranging from fifth to 12th, and rose through the ranks, becoming a high school dean, vice principal and then principal. She also received a doctorate in education, focusing her thesis on dropout prevention.
The three-year contract, which board members unanimously approved Monday evening, includes an annual base salary of $302,500, which would increase at the same rate as other management salaries.
In the announcement, board president Phil Faillace hailed Meyer as a leader who will take an even-handed approach to supporting both low- and high-performing students while maintaining an "intense focus" on the well-being of individual students.
"Dr. Meyer understands that our community wants our schools to give each student, from the lowest performing to the highest, the academic, social, and emotional tools not merely to realize her or his potential for an intellectually and emotionally gratifying life of learning, but to extend that potential," Faillace said.
The announcement caps off a monthslong search to replace current Superintendent Jeff Harding, who announced last year that he would be retiring at the end of June. The district's hired search firm sought feedback from teachers, community members and students, compiling the input into a short list of important characteristics. At the top of the list was someone who could create a "positive" climate of mutual trust among staff, followed by an understanding and sensitivity to the needs of a diverse student population.
The contract includes a $25,000 housing allowance to pay for relocation expenses to a place within 20 miles of the district office. The full contract can be viewed here.