LGSD Superintendent Ernie Anastos to Retire June 30th
LEMON GROVE -- After serving for nearly 12 years as the chief executive of the Lemon Grove School District, Superintendent Ernie Anastos is set to retire at the end of the school year. Anastos, 66, is currently one of San Diego County’s longest serving superintendents, having been at the helm of the East County school district since 2005. He was recently named Superintendent of the Year for the region covering San Diego and Imperial Counties by the Association of California School Administrators, and will be honored Friday, April 28, during the organization’s annual “Honoring Our Own” awards dinner.
During his tenure in Lemon Grove, Anastos has focused on creating neighborhood schools that serve as community centers. With an emphasis on increasing student achievement and engagement, a number of specialized schools have been developed, including the Dual Immersion Academy (DIA) at Mount Vernon Elementary (an International Baccalaureate Candidate School), the San Miguel Arts Academy, and the Lemon Grove Academy of the Sciences and Humanities. With a focus on STEM (science, technology, math and engineering) education, students at the K-8 campus are learning the advanced technical skills that are required for college and 21st century careers. These programs all enjoy the support of strong partnerships forged with local universities, arts organizations and community partners.
The Lemon Grove Academy campus on School Lane features medical and dental clinics that serve students and their families through partnerships with UC San Diego; as well as the Lemon Grove Library, a joint-use facility built in collaboration with the San Diego County Library system. The Mission-style library, which opened in 2013, was funded by Proposition W, the $28 million school bond that was passed in 2008 with overwhelming voter support.
Interested in celebrating Lemon Grove’s history and culture, Anastos formed productive partnerships with community organizations such as the Lemon Grove Historical Society and the Lemon Grove Rotary that resulted in the 2007 dedication the Roberto Alvarez Auditorium to honor Lemon Grove’s rich history and celebrate the 1931 victory of the country’s first successful school desegregation case. Alvarez, a Mexican-American born in La Mesa, was an outstanding student in the fifth grade when he was chosen as the lead plaintiff in the landmark case that came more than two decades before Brown v. Board of Education.
Anastos, a native of Hingham, Mass., has been an educator for 45 years. He is a graduate of Brandeis University and holds a master’s degree in special education from Bridgewater State College in his home state. He started his career in education as an elementary school teacher, and moved up the ranks to into administration. He served 20 years in the Sweetwater Union High School District working at Chula Vista High School, Hilltop High School and Mar Vista High School before being named principal to National City Middle School from 1992-1997 and then Rancho del Rey Middle School from 1997 to 2001. Both middle schools were named California Distinguished Schools with him at the helm.
Before being appointed to the top job in Lemon Grove, Anastos served as an Area Superintendent in charge of Instructional Support Services and Student Support Services from 2002 to 2005 in Sweetwater. Anastos’ last day with the district will be June 30. A successor has not been named. The five-member Board of Education has hired Leadership Associates, a consulting firm that specializes in superintendent recruitment, to assist in conducting a search for a new leader. A Community Forum to collect input to assist the District in the selection process for the new superintendent is scheduled for Wednesday, May 3. Please check the Lemon Grove School District website for details and to take a survey regarding the selection process for the next Superintendent.
The Lemon Grove School District serves approximately 3,800 students in kindergarten through eighth grade at six schools, and operates a preschool. Its adopted budget for the 2016-17 academic year is $42 million.