Panama-Buena Vista board selects new superintendent

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Panama-Buena Vista Union School District superintendent urges support for $90 million bond measure

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The Panama-Buena Vista Union School District Board of Trustees selected a new superintendent during its Monday meeting. 

Katie Russell is the first woman and first African-American educator to lead the district in its 145 year history. Russell takes over the position being vacated by retiring Superintendent Kevin Silberberg.

“I sit here tonight very confident and pleased with our decision to appoint you as our new superintendent,” said Trustee Cherie Olgin. “I am also very pleased to be part of history being made here tonight.”

Russell currently serves as the instructional superintendent of the Fresno Unified School District, a position she has held since 2015. 

Russell is a 1989 graduate of Cal State Fresno, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies. 

In 2000, she completed her master’s degree in Educational Administration and began her career as an educational administrator after 10 years of teaching, including assignments as a vice principal, elementary principal and middle school principal at various sites in the Fresno Unified School District.

Last year, Russell was recognized as a state honoree by the California Association of African American Superintendents and Administrators. Other honors include Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) Administrator of the Year award and recognition as Excellence in Education Administrator of the Year Finalist.

“We look forward to her efforts in building trust and collaboration with staff and families to lead us forward as we adapt our District to 21st Century educational practices and continuing the District’s mission of ‘Excellence in Education’” said Board President Greg White.

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