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Brent Stephens will be the new superintendent of the Lafayette School District as of July 1, the district announced.
Stephens has served in the same role for the Berkeley Unified School District the past three years. Before that, he was the chief academic officer of the San Francisco Unified School District, where he oversaw curriculum, coaching, and professional development.
“The board has enthusiastically selected Dr. Stephens to be our next Superintendent and we are thrilled to have him join our family,” district governing board president Rob Sturm said in a statement. “The appointment process underscored that Lafayette is unquestionably a destination district, as it produced many worthy applicants. One candidate, however, clearly stood out in all respects — we have great confidence that Dr. Stephens will be a tremendous addition, continuing our district’s long-standing tradition of inspiring superintendent leadership.”
Stephen began his career as a Spanish bilingual teacher in Oakland, and later in Boston, supporting immigrant students and their families. While in Boston, Stephens achieved national board certification, the country’s highest professional distinction.
“I’m excited to join the Lafayette community and begin to get to know the students, families, and staff who make the Lafayette School District such a well-regarded district.”Superintendent Brent Stephens
The district said Stephens’ “experience as a school principal in both elementary and middle school settings has helped build on his knowledge of standards-based teaching, scaffolding and differentiation, and the positive role that students’ own backgrounds and cultures should play in classrooms.”
In San Francisco, Stephens led the creation and implementation of innovative curriculum in all subject areas, and worked closely on special education issues, including more equitable redistribution of special day classes around the district and research-based approaches to reading instruction.
Under his leadership in Berkeley, Stephens partnered with the community to provide needed outside resources and support to families through an innovative “Ed Hub” partnership. The district also passed a $380 million school construction bond during his time, as well as measures to increase teacher salaries and recruitment, and retention of teachers of color.
“I’m excited to join the Lafayette community and begin to get to know the students, families, and staff who make the Lafayette School District such a well-regarded district,” Stephens said in a statement. “I honor the values that I see in Lafayette: high expectations, support for each student to grow in a nurturing environment, and strong community bonds.”
Stephens holds a doctorate from Harvard University and his work on school reform has been published by Harvard Education Press.