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Confidence Breeds Success
April 2008 | Interview with Janet Bernard, DMUSD Interim Superintendent | by Susan Miller

As has been widely reported in local news, Del Mar Union School District (DMUSD) Superintendent Tom Bishop recently resigned, leaving his position on February 29. Soon after Mr. Bishop's resignation, the DMUSD Board of Trustees appointed Janet Bernard as Interim Superintendent. The Board expects to identify a permanent superintendent within several months, allowing a transition over the summer.

Upon naming Mrs. Bernard in this role, DMUSD Board President Annette Easton stated, “Mrs. Bernard's breadth of experience across a variety of administrative positions will allow her to move seamlessly into this role…Mrs. Bernard's leadership style centers on trust, team building, and empowering others.” 

To give Sandpiper readers an opportunity to get to know Janet Bernard, we conducted the following email interview with Mrs. Bernard:

Please tell Sandpiper readers about yourself and your background in education.

I am a native to San Diego and completed my B.A. and Masters Degrees in Education Leadership, and Administrative Service Credential at San Diego State University. My undergraduate major was Social Sciences with a minor in Music. I play the cello.

I started my teaching career with the Carlsbad Unified School District as a music teacher and taught in the District for ten years from K through middle school. I served as a principal in the South Bay Union School District in Imperial Beach and the San Marcos Unified School District in San Marcos. I also held central office positions in operations, learning-support services and program/staff development.

I've served the Del Mar Union School District for the past nine years in the position of Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction. Some of my major responsibilities have included the coordination of: strategic planning, curriculum adoptions, services for English language learners, GATE, beginning teacher induction program, new teacher orientation, articulation efforts with the San Dieguito High School District, local and state assessment programs, and special curriculum projects.

As personal background, I've been married to my husband Walter, a retired engineer for KFMB TV, for 33 years. We have six children, all grown except for the youngest who is a senior at Rancho Bernardo High School.

What are your goals for the remainder of this school year, during the term of your role as Interim Superintendent?

  • Help build bridges between a divided staff and a divided community;
  • Re-focus on our mission of meeting the individual learning needs of every student;
  • Maintain our diligent work on the implementation of the professional learning communities model;
  • Hire a new Director of Technology and Coordinator of State and Federal Projects to strengthen support and services for our staff, students, and parents;
  • Begin the work of our strategic planning action teams in health, wellness, and physical education, and securing funding for the enrichment program;
  • Recommend a new K-6 science program for Board adoption;
  • Evaluate all aspects of the district operation to assist the permanent superintendent with setting priorities for the ‘08-‘09 school year.

What do you find to be the most challenging part of your job?

The most challenging part of my job is not having enough time to complete all the tasks I have prioritized to be accomplished in a day. There just aren't enough hours. 

What are your hopes for the future of DMUSD?

My hope for the future of the Del Mar Union School District is that we will maintain our continuous journey for program improvement and will do our best to reach the NCLB goal of every DMUSD student being proficient in the 2013-14 school year.

What do you find to be the most gratifying part of your job?

The most gratifying part of my job is observing students being confident and successful with learning – be it in the classroom, a musical performance, or a special project. I firmly believe that confidence breeds success and is the conduit for student well-being. 

I am also gratified to observe teachers growing as leaders with their knowledge, expertise, and skills. I have mentored many teachers over the years who have gone on to become grade-level leaders, principals and district leaders. I am so proud of those individuals! As a teacher at heart, it just doesn't get any better than that.



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