SELMA — Dr. Marilyn Shepherd, 34-year veteran educator and administrator, will be the Interim Superintendent of the Selma Unified School District (SUSD). Dr. Shepherd will begin her interim responsibilities on Thursday, which will provide a transition period during which she will work alongside current Superintendent Dr. Tanya A. Fisher, who announced her retirement effective Jan. 4, 2021.
Dr. Shepherd joins Selma Unified from the consulting firm of McPherson & Jacobsen, which is a national educational leadership search firm. Additional consultation work has included such firms as the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA), Pinnacle Educators, and Strategies of Success.
Prior to her work as a consultant, Dr. Shepherd accrued extensive administrative experience in numerous roles. She has ten years of combined experience as a superintendent, first in Golden Valley Unified School District, then in Monterey Peninsula Unified School District.
“Selecting Dr. Shepherd as Interim Superintendent was a unanimous decision,” stated Jennifer Winter, SUSD School Board President, “and we believe she will do an excellent job of keeping our district moving forward as we face the tough process of reopening. We, as a Board, look forward to working with her.”
In addition to her experience as a superintendent, Dr. Shepherd also served for six years in Fresno Unified as an Administrator of Student Supports and a Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) Administrator. Site administrative experience includes twelve years in various roles including an elementary vice principal, elementary principal, middle school principal, and principal of a development center at what was then the Fresno County Office of Education (FCOE) and is currently the office of the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools. Classroom teaching experience was gained as a special education teacher through FCOE.
“It is an honor and privilege to be selected to serve as the Interim Superintendent for Selma USD,” Shepherd stated. “I look forward to working with and supporting the staff, parents and Selma community in these unprecedented times, ensuring that the transition to new leadership is positive and seamless."
Dr. Shepherd holds a doctorate in Educational Leadership from the joint doctoral program through the University of California, Davis, and the California State University (CSU), Fresno. She also holds a Master of Arts degree in School Administration from the Fresno Pacific University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Studies from CSU, Fresno. Credentials include an Administrative Service Credential, a Multiple Subjects Credential, and an Education Specialist Credential-Severely Handicapped.
Dr. Shepherd’s ending date as Interim Superintendent is contingent upon two factors: the conclusion of the search, interview, and hiring process for the new Superintendent and the limitations that are placed upon all retirees within the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS). All retirees are limited to the amount of money they can earn post-retirement in the field of education; therefore, the amount of time they can work is also limited.
Although the SUSD Board of Trustees is confident that they will find a Superintendent in the allotted time, the Board planned for a contingency in case a new Superintendent is not hired in a timely manner. A second Interim Superintendent, Jerry Stehman, was also hired during the same Special Board Meeting during which Dr. Shepherd was hired on Nov. 23, 2020. Mr. Stehman’s services will only be rendered if the search for a Superintendent proves to be lengthy and Dr. Shepherd’s time limitation set by the retirement system reaches its expiration.
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