Lodi Unified School District's Odie Douglas has been hired by a school district in Pleasanton. As the assistant superintendent of educational services, he will earn an annual salary of $165,790 including stipends.
Although he doesn't officially start the new job until July 1, Douglas will work with the person retiring from the position.
His last official day of employment with Lodi Unified is June 30, although he said he might wrap things up here earlier.
Douglas is currently Lodi Unified's assistant superintendent of secondary education. He was hired from Elk Grove in 2005 as the district's associate superintendent, but the position was eliminated due to budget cuts and administrative reshuffling.
He has been outspoken about his desire to leave Lodi Unified for a top district position elsewhere. He was a finalist in superintendent searches in both Stockton and the Sacramento area in the past year.
As the assistant superintendent of education services for Pleasanton Unified School District, he will oversee elementary and secondary curriculum, testing and assessment, special projects, and library and media services. That school board made the appointment Tuesday.
"I will pretty much be doing what I was doing in my previous position before it was eliminated: researching and evaluating, student services, special education," Douglas said Thursday in between the four high school graduation ceremonies he was attending.
"I'm excited about all that, and about the challenges that come with a new job."
Dawn Vetica, who currently manages intervention and after-school enrichment programs for Lodi Unified, was named to Douglas' position last week.
In March, the district accepted a request from Douglas to leave the associate superintendent of secondary education job on March 6. His current salary is $136,701.
"Lodi Unified School District is grateful to Dr. Douglas for his service to the district and community," Superintendent Cathy Nichols-Washer said in an email. "His passionate dedication to students, concern for staff and resourcefulness will be missed. We wish him well."
During his tenure, Douglas has been involved in a number of controversial issues including overseeing changes to the district's computer system after student grades at one high school were illegally altered last year. There had been no uniform way of legally changing grades beforehand.
In 2007, he introduced districtwide diversity and tolerance training that some felt was a form of reverse discrimination.
In the end, Douglas said he is most proud of the district's academic achievement and its success in raising standardized test scores. Additionally, he is glad to have overseen the increase in Advanced Placement courses.