“We need the entire community thinking about how to support the students and prepare them for the world of an ever-changing pace,” said Dr. David Roth, newly hired superintendent of Buckeye Union School District. “We should be constantly renewing that welcoming voice to the community, encouraging more of their input, particularly with our resources under stress.”
Roth, 42, comes to Buckeye from nine years in the Piedmont Unified School District, first as the director of special education and then as assistant superintendent for educational services.
“This was the next career step,” said Roth of his new job. “The quality educational experience provided by Buckeye’s teachers and staff and the vital, growing community appeared to be an environment where I could support teachers, parents and students.”
Roth said he has usually worked in small school systems and enjoys the challenges.
“Even though Buckeye is larger than Piedmont, it still has the small town, close-knit community and that means more hands-on, wearing more hats and being more closely engaged in the issues for me.”
He earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from California State University, Northridge, a master’s degree in psychology from University of California,Berkeley, and his doctorate in Education from UC Berkeley. He was an assistant professor of psychology at University of Pacific and school psychologist at Albany Unified School District before moving to Piedmont.
Roth was hired on a three year contract at an annual salary of $143,500, beginning July 1, and has been working with Terry Wenig, the retiring Buckeye superintendent.
“She’s been helping me understand the nature of the programs in the district, the district direction, and, of course, the budget.
“The board, the district and the bargaining units have worked together to build a budget and so our district is in better financial shape than many others,” said Roth. “We do have declining enrollment of about 100 students and that is a significant challenge and we will continue to have to deal with uncertainty with the state budget.”
He has met El Dorado County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Vicki Barber. “She’s got a far-reaching reputation statewide and El Dorado County has a positive reputation in the state for supporting its schools.”
Roth is getting to know staff members as they trickle back to work and said he plans to spend much time at the school sites.
“It’s too early to presume to make any changes,” said Roth. “I want to get to know the community first, understand the culture and find out what’s important to parents, teachers and students. Every school district is different and I want to understand the differences here.”
Roth is married with two young children and is looking for a permanent home in El Dorado County. He loves to ski, hike and garden and said he is passionate about public education.
“I’m excited. I feel like I’ve landed in a hidden gem. I can sense the warmth of this community.”