“I admire Dr. McDonald’s skills, experience and knowledge and look forward to the growth and evolution of PUSD under his superintendency,â€ said PUSD Board President Scott Phelps.Â â€œHe is adept at team-building and his collaborative style augurs well for progress towards our shared goals for PUSD.Â We face many challenges but his personal involvement in the schools and collegial relations with the many people of PUSD make me optimistic that we can grow through the challenges, work well with all of PUSD’s many community partners and make good decisions.”
Since joining PUSD as Chief Academic Officer in October 2011, Dr. McDonald spearheaded the districtâ€™s magnet school program, oversaw the closure of the achievement gap in the cohort graduation rate, expanded the districtâ€™s popular dual language immersion programs, led the early implementation of the new Common Core State Standards and placed a strong emphasis on research-based professional development for all employees. Dr. McDonald has been serving as PUSD Interim Superintendent since August 1, 2014.
“I thank the PUSD Board of Education for putting their trust in me to lead Pasadena Unified,â€ said Dr. McDonald. â€œPUSD is a good school district. With the collaboration of staff, students, community and school board we can be a great school district.â€
McDonald joined PUSD from the Houston (Texas) Independent School District, where he last served as School Improvement Officer.Â Prior to that, he was an elementary and middle school principal in the same district.Â As principal of William S. Holland Middle School from 2005-2011, McDonald successfully increased reading, math, social studies, science and writing scores, and raised the number of students taking Algebra I by 100 percent.
Dr. McDonald has a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Houston-Downtown, Texas, and a Masterâ€™s in Education Administration from Texas Southern University. He earned a certification in principalship from Harvard Graduate School in 2002, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Sam Houston State University in 2010.Â A Phi Delta Kappa, he is a fluent Spanish speaker.
Dr. McDonald replaces Jon Gundry who departed PUSD to become Superintendent of the Santa Clara County Office of Education on July 31, 2014.