LANCASTER — Longtime Antelope Valley Union High School District Superintendent David Vierra announced Thursday that he will retire at the end of August.
With more than 40 years of service to public education including 20 years as superintendent, Vierra shared that he has been proud to lead the District and its dedicated, talented and student-focused team.
“I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the opportunity to work with such caring, sincere and loving professionals,” Vierra said in his letter to the school community. “I am humbled by the memorable experiences of serving in positions that positively impacted tens of thousands of students and families throughout my career in the Antelope Valley.”
AV Union High School District’s Board of Education will meet in the near future to discuss an interim superintendent to fill this leadership position. Information on the process will be shared at upcoming Board meetings.
“We are grateful to Dr. Vierra for his tireless service to our staff and students,” Board President Jill McGrady said. “I think we can all agree that the past year and all the challenges presented by the pandemic demanded innovation, integrity and an unwavering commitment to problem-solving the near impossible, and that is precisely what we watched Dr. Vierra do for our district and for our kids. He led us through the unthinkable, and for that, I am personally and professionally thankful.”
Vierra will stay with the district through August to help transition work to the interim superintendent as the 2021-22 school year begins.
A lifetime Antelope Valley resident, Vierra was honored with the 2018 Navigating Change award by the then-Antelope Valley Board of Trade, which said he has been pivotal in fostering creativity and innovation to prepare 21st century students for a rapidly changing workplace.
A proponent for a local skilled workforce, with emphasis in the STEM fields, Vierra has supported career-technical education pathways for students. He was instrumental in establishing the area’s early college high school, SOAR, in partnership with Antelope Valley College, the Board of Trade said.
Additionally, he has advocated for opportunities that have placed local students at the forefront of developing sustainable technologies. As a result, students have received full scholarships to schools such as the University of Michigan and won prestigious awards at various state and national competitions, putting the Antelope Valley on the map for their achievements.
AV Union High School District, under Vierra’s leadership, achieved a six-year districtwide accreditation through the Accrediting Commission for Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges in September 2018.
Six years is the maximum accreditation period the District could have achieved. AV Union High School District is the first school District in the continental United States to achieve a districtwide WASC accreditation.
“Summarizing the achievements of our District during my tenure as superintendent is a difficult task, Vierra said in a statement. “I have been so fortunate to lead an organization that continues to push the boundaries of what is believed possible in public education. Because of this mindset, we have accomplished extraordinary things to enhance and enrich the lives of the students we serve and have received numerous accolades for that work.”
“The list of District accomplishments is a source of great pride; however, what I consider most dear and personal is having held the trust of the communities I serve for the better part of three decades. Surpassing any award or recognition, trusting relationships, both within the organization and throughout the community, are foundational in providing not only insight into the needs of our stakeholders, but also the resources to meet those needs and opportunities to extend learning outside of the classroom walls. These relationships over time have evolved into partnerships working collaboratively towards improving outcomes for the youth in our community. And while not traditionally seen as an achievement on one’s resume, it is my belief that earning the trust of the community and maintaining the relationships that fuel that trust, is our tallest order as school leaders and paramount to any successes that will follow.
“As my tenure comes to an end in AVUHSD, my single greatest accomplishment is that of my family. Being the family of the Superintendent has not always been easy, yet they were resilient and supportive through every season. Their love and commitment are unwavering. I am so immensely grateful and proud.”