Federal mandates and state-related budget issues already pose a challenge. But Alfano is also taking the helm during one of the district’s most tumultuous periods in recent history, following the controversial departure of Esther Corral-Carlson, who was fired and later allowed to resign her position as superintendent.
Alfano will be forced to find ways to balance the budget, yet avoid making cuts that hinder students’ learning. There is also the challenge of improving district test scores and preparing for the Common Core State Standards Initiative in 2014, which seeks to create consistent academic standards for schools nationwide.
Thankfully, the new superintendent appears to be up to the task. He has four years of experience at the Patterson district office and more than 20 years of experience in education, covering everything from elementary schools to college instruction. It is also encouraging to hear he is already planning for better times, despite the economic challenges ahead.
School board members and school employees alike have compared his leadership since he was named interim superintendent April 5 to the proverbial calm after the storm.
As he assumes the permanent post starting next month, we wish him all the best.
For the sake of our community’s young people, we hope the district faces less rocky times in the months to come.