The following article was originally published in the News Enterprise. on June 29.
“Our community is awesome,” says Dr. Sherry Kropp, who will take up full duties as superintendent of Los Alamitos Unified School District (LAUSD) this week. “The school district is fortunate to have the community’s support.”
Dr. Greg Franklin, who lays down those duties at close of business day on Thursday, has allowed Dr. Kropp full access to decision-making for the new school year. Dr. Franklin will become superintendent of the larger Tustin Unified School District on July 1. His graciousness allows a smooth transition for administration of the district by its new management team.
Dr. Kropp was born in Washington state. While still quite young, she moved with her family to Huntington Beach and graduated from Marina High School (in three years). She earned a bachelor’s degree in English and a teacher’s certificate from Washington State University in 1978 and began her teaching career as a middle school teacher of English, math and science in the East Valley School District in Spokane, Washington. She also served as head coach for softball and volleyball while coordinating the Gifted and Talented Education program.
Such intense juggling of many different professional demands so quickly was excellent experience for Dr. Kropp as she faces challenges in her first year as LAUSD superintendent.
The California state budget overshadows everything, but that uncertainty won’t prevent accomplished management of the district.
Dr. Kropp looks forward to touching base with the people in that awesome community, signing on to groups like the Rotary Club, supporting families and their kids and providing the particular resources needed by each individual school.
“Each school is different,” Dr. Kropp says. “My challenge is keeping up with the individual schools and seeing that they receive the support they need.”
By 1985, she had relocated to Southern California, earned supplementary authorization in mathematics and science from Cal State Long Beach, and began teaching math and science at Los Alamitos High School.
On the side, she worked on a master’s in educational administration that she put to good use when she stepped up in 1989 to the position of assistant principal for curriculum and instruction at the Los Al High. She continued to buff her academic credentials by adding a tier II professional administrative services creditial from Cal State Long Beach in 1992.
In 1998, she served as interim principal at the high school for six months before taking over as principal at Laurel Continuation High School in August 1998.
She worked as director of instruction and special projects for Los Alamitos Unified School District while earning a doctorate in education from Alliant International University in 2004.
Before being named as the new superintendent, Dr. Kropp worked as the District’s assistant superintendent for educational services beginning in 2005.
“In education, we promote the four As,” Dr. Kropp explains. “Arts, activities, athletics and academics. Every student will not excel at all four, but each student should become passionate about something, to carry forward into their later life. As educators, we have a limited amount of time to provide our students exposure to arts, activities, athletics and academics that will allow them to make informed choices later in life.”
Parents, students, faculty and staff in the Los Alamitos Unified School District can look forward to the new school year in the fall with assurance that continuity with prior successful practice will carry forward to meet and overcome challenges to keep the District’s focus on students and keep Los Al Unified a great school district for kids.
- Congratulations to the Los Alamitos High School graduating class of 2011 (oc-breeze.com)
- Los Alamitos: New LAUSD Superintendent Named (cehwiedel.com)
- Majority-vote state budget hits schools, redevelopment agencies (oc-breeze.com)