Pleasant Ridge hires new superintendent |

Pleasant Ridge hires new superintendent

Rusty Clark

The Pleasant Ridge School District formally hired a new superintendent and a vice principal at its board meeting Tuesday night.

Rusty Clark, who previously worked at Twin Rivers Unified School District in Sacramento, was unanimously approved as the district superintendent and Jennifer Dearduff, who was vice principal of Margaret G. Scotten Elementary School, was named the new vice principal.

“What a privilege it is to be a part of the community and family here,” Clark said. “I am excited to start and hit the ground running.”

Lyman Gilmore Vice Principal Chris Roberts, with whom Dearduff worked for four years, spoke in her favor.

“We loved her there and know you will, too,” Roberts said to Magnolia Principal Gene Morgan, the board and attendees.

According to a press release, Clark began his education career as a high school teacher in a small rural district in Illinois, received his bachelor’s degree in business administration, a master’s in educational leadership and a professional clear administrative credential.

He worked in the Bay Area and the Sacramento area as a vice principal and principal at a middle school and high school and was president of a local charter of the Association of California School Administrators and athletic league president.

For the past three years, he has served on the district superintendent cabinet as executive director of educational services, as well as field representative for California State University, East Bay in the education leadership department.

Clark most recently served as network executive director in Twin Rivers Unified School District, where he covered curriculum and instruction, budgets and overall operational management for 15 K-12 school sites serving 9,000 students.

Clark said he values the programs the district has to offer and expects to gain students from surrounding areas.

He said his first task is to get to know the community and gain input from staff and community members.

“I want to get to know people and listen to where they would like to see the school go,” Clark said. “It is a great privilege to get to take over as leader of the district, and I am truly blessed for it.”

Board President Lauretta Muzio said Clark was the best candidate for the position with his background and experience in the districts he came from.

“We felt that he would be a good fit for our district,” Muzio said. “South County is very family oriented and he exhibits those values, and our community is going to celebrate with him.”

To contact Staff Writer Jennifer Terman, email or call 530-477-4230.

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