Contact: Jeanne Wells

310-450-8338, ext. 239

For Immediate Release

April 25, 2001


After a comprehensive search and interview process, the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board of Education is pleased to announce the selection of former Rhode Island Coventry Public Schools Superintendent, John Deasy, as its new superintendent.

SMMUSD Board President, Tom Pratt, stated, "I am very excited and pleased to have the opportunity to work with John Deasy. It is an exhilarating and dynamic time to be on the Board and Mr. Deasy is an excellent match with our communities. I was impressed by how deeply he embraces the belief that all students will achieve. I look forward to learning from and working with Mr. Deasy."

Dr. Joseph Quarles, SMMUSD Assistant Superintendent, Human Resources indicated that, "The recruitment and selection process was rigorous and thorough and included a broad selection of community stakeholders. Following the interview process, it was clear that Mr. Deasy was not only the best candidate, but an excellent match for the school district."

Deasy has over 17 years of experience in education, most recently serving as superintendent of the Coventry Public Schools District from 1996 to present. Previously, Mr. Deasy held the positions of Assistant Superintendent, Principal, Director of Personnel, Assistant Principal, Dean of Students in Rhode Island and New York and teacher at the secondary and college level.

Mr. Deasy was very enthusiastic about applying for the superintendency and looked forward to the possibility of moving to California with his wife and three children. With the decision official, Mr. Deasy commented, "I am humbled and honored to have been selected as the superintendent of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District. This district is truly a learning community, one where all stakeholders actively join together to provide every opportunity for students to succeed. During the interview process it was clearly evident to me that this was not merely a good school system, but one where all constituents are deeply invested in the high achievement of each child."

"John Deasy is an exemplary Superintendent," states SMMUSD Board Vice President, Julia Brownley. "His commitment to all students, his successful record of leadership, and his nationally known expertise on educational reform make him the perfect fit to lead our district. The district is in good hands and I know the community will give John a very warm welcome."

Coventry's current Board President shares that, "John Deasy is a collaborative leader with a deep value of integrity; he is also a great communicator. Well liked by the community, he has a passion for education and a belief that ALL children WILL learn."

Deasy received his B.A. in Biology/Chemistry Education at Providence College and his Masters in Education Administration from Providence College. He earned extra credits beyond his Masters in Education Administration and Policy Studies at the University of New York and is currently a Ph.D. Candidate.

Mr. Deasy is a nationally known expert on educational reform. He is committed to and focused on improving student achievement of all students. He has an impressive record of achievement in the implementation of school and systemic reforms resulting in an improvement of test scores among students in Coventry. He has been involved in national and state reform initiatives, the Coalition of Essential Schools, the National Center on Education and the Economy, and the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University among others. He has developed a series of models that have gained national attention including administrator and teacher evaluation, staff development and leadership training, collaborative assessment of student work, and the implementation of systemic school reform.

Martha Duran-Contreras, member of the interview team, District parent and teacher and community leader shared her response to meeting Mr. Deasy. "Mr. Deasy came into the room and people stopped talking and smiled. Mr. Deasy was calm and spoke confidently. We listened and heard through his words that he was committed to working with all groups for all children. He spoke about working long hours, listening to the many voices our communities have and he spoke about the importance of knowing each child by name. The committee posed serious questions about the budget, standards and diversity. His answers provoked deeper thought. The committee was confident that the experience Mr. Deasy brings to SMMUSD will give us the security to face the many challenges the 21st Century brings to education."

Mr. Deasy said further, "I look forward to meeting all members of our learning community and to actively listen to their needs and concerns. Using the knowledge they provide, we will work together to build on the obvious current successes of this remarkable district. Through the processes of strategic planning and building instructional capacity, together we will realize even greater student success, community pride, and confidence. My family and I look forward to joining this culturally rich and diverse community both in and out of the classroom."

John Deasy officially assumes the duties of superintendent on July 5, 2001.

Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District

1651 16th Street, Santa Monica, CA 90404 310-450-8338 fax 310-581-1138