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BHUSD Announces Promotions, New Staff

The departure of Assistant Superintendent for Business Services Alex Cherniss has led to a reorganization of the district.

The Beverly Hills Unified School District has promoted two administrators and recruited two senior staff members from other top districts as part of a reorganization of the BHUSD administrative office.

Superintendent Gary Woods announced the promotions and new hires at Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting, during which he explained the reorganization of his staff following the departure of . The staff will be structured into two divisions, one focusing on administration and one on academics, which may enable more staff time to go towards raising academic standards at all five city schools.

Dawnalyn Murakawa-Leopard, currently an assistant superintendent, is being promoted to the new position of chief administrative officer, overseeing food services, personnel and facilities. Jennifer Tedford, currently an interim assistant superintendent, is being promoted to the new position of chief academic officer, overseeing all academics. Both promotions take effect immediately.

Both Murakawa-Leopard and Tedford rose up from administrative positions at BHUSD schools. Murakawa-Leopard was principal of Horace Mann and Tedford was an assistant principal at Beverly Hills High School.

New staff positions have been created to support the chief administrative and chief academic officers.

“We figured out what we needed first and then went out and recruited to fit our needs,” Woods said. “Good districts are aggressive.”

Miguel Marco begins at BHUSD on May 15 as coordinator of personnel services. Marco, who will answer to Murakawa-Leopard, was recruited back to BHUSD from the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, where he was an assistant principal. Previously he was a science teacher at Beverly Vista School and a sports coordinator at Beverly Hills High School.

Chris Hertz begins at BHUSD on July 1 as director of academic excellence and technology. Hertz, who will answer to Tedford, comes from the Fremont Unified School District in Santa Cruz County.

As part of the administrative shake-up, the principals at the five city schools are being formally placed on the staff chart to a level that equals the status of Murakawa-Leopard and Tedford.

“For me, the principals are front and center of this [re-organization],” Woods said earlier this week at a PTA Council meeting.

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