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Submitted by on 1, July 9, 2008 – 4:00 pmNo Comment

It’s official: Alameda schools chief Ardella Dailey is set to retire as of January 1, 2009, due to “personal family necessity.” The district said in a press release that the school board has already started looking for someone to replace her. The district also will need to hire a new chief financial officer, with Luz T. Cazares leaving at the end of August.

Dailey, who started her career with the district in 1985 as director of the Woodstock Child Development Center and also served as principal of George Miller Elementary School, was picked to head the district initially on an interim basis for the 2005-06 school year, after serving for five years as assistant superintendent.

She guided the district through several years of budget cuts, and presided over it through tempests over kindergarten lotteries, Measure A parcel tax expenditures and a public art display on the Washington School fence. But school board president Bill Schaff credited her with having an “extraordinary commitment” to the district over her long career here.

Blogger Rob “Scoop” Siltanen, who broke the news of Dailey’s retirement earlier today, said this:

(W)e should all thank Superintendent Dailey for her great service and dedication to AUSD, including her commitment to moving forward the conversation in Alameda about equity and excellence and for steering the AUSD ship safely through terrible financial times.

And here’s the district’s press release, from Mike McMahon’s website:

Superintendent of Schools Ardella Dailey announced today that she will retire effective January 1, 2009 due to personal family necessity.

Dailey has served the Alameda Unified School District for over twenty years, the past three years as Superintendent of Schools. Dailey noted that leaving at this time – with the recent passage of Measure H demonstrating strong community support for our schools – would be a good point for another Superintendent to step in.

The Board has begun working on a Superintendent search process that will seek community input and participation.

Dailey will continue working to provide the leadership necessary to keep the district on the path to excellence and equity for all students, and will ensure that the next six months will provide a smooth transition to a new Superintendent. Dailey will make herself available during the search process and after the selection to support the transition.

“It has been a pleasure to work with the School Board, the school district staff, our students and our community,” said Dailey. “I am proud of this district and am confident our schools will continue to excel in the years to come.”

School Board President Bill Schaff expressed his appreciation for Dailey’s extraordinary commitment and years of hard work on behalf of AUSD. “Ardella has dedicated the last twenty years of her professional life to serving and improving Alameda schools,” said Schaff. “the School District of Alameda is indebted to Ardella and we wish her the very best.”

“I know this transition will not be easy for her as she has always felt that all the students of Alameda are her extended family,” continued Schaff. “Our thoughts are with Ardella and her primary family.”

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