Ghysels begins the new job on July 1. The branch Ghysels will head runs multiple alternative schools and provides services for 9,000 students on 160 sites, including programs for the disabled, the county's juvenile halls and children in Head Start preschool, and services for the children of migrant workers, said Larry Slonaker, the public information officer for the county office. The branch also oversees charter schools.
In interviewing school officials, parents and teachers about Ghysels, "every conversation had a consistent theme — Dr. Ghysels is a top-quality, visionary educator who puts the needs of students first," said Superintendent Weis in the announcement. "He has built a successful team at Mountain View Whisman that has consistently focused on continuous improvement and customer service. We are thrilled to be able to bring him to the County Office of Education."
Weis credited Ghysels with increases in Mountain View Whisman's test scores and "widespread improvement among Hispanic students and students who are English learners."
Ghysels was not available for comment before press time.
Part of Ghysels' legacy at Mountain View Whisman was his implementation in local schools of a corporate organizational method that originated in Japan called "Continuous Improvement." Continuous Improvement encourages never-ending improvement in a product and is often called the key to the success of Japanese auto makers. Ghysels believes it helps teachers, students and parents set measurable and attainable goals.
It was announced that Ghysels was looking for work outside of the district last November after he told the Voice and the community that he had been having a romantic relationship with Landels school principal Carmen Mizell. Both were married and were the process of going through divorces last year. Because principals typically report to the superintendent, the district's reporting structure was altered to avoid a conflict of interest.
The announcement of Ghysels relationship with Mizell caused a backlash among some in the community, while others stated their continuing support for the two.
Craig Goldman, Chief Financial Officer for Mountain View Whisman, is expected to take over as the district's superintendent under an agreement announced in November by the school board president at the time, Phil Palmer.
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