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Superintendent Russell Lee-Sung Set to Retire after 36 Years in Public Education

After 36 years of service in public education, and six years at Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD), Superintendent Russell Lee-Sung will retire, effective August 3, 2021. “I appreciate Mr. Lee Sung’s commitment to the NMUSD community the past six years, especially this past year as superintendent when he was charged with navigating our district through the Covid pandemic,” said Board President Karen Yelsey. Mr. Lee-Sung has been with NMUSD since 2015, and has served as assistant superintendent, chief human resources officer; assistant superintendent, chief academic officer; deputy superintendent; and since August 2020, superintendent. “I am proud to be associated with this district and thankful to serve in public education overall,” he said. As Superintendent, Mr. Lee-Sung navigated the district through the COVID-19 pandemic, starting the school year in distance learning,safely reopening schools in hybrid, and since April 2021, opening schools to full-time in-person learning. “I am grateful for his leadership and all he has accomplished in support of students and staff,” said Board President Karen Yelsey. “On behalf of the entire Board of Education, we wish him all the best in his retirement,” she said. As deputy superintendent, Mr. Lee-Sung has spearheaded the District’s safety plans, response to crises and helped navigate the District through the COVID-19 pandemic. He also built a climate of collaboration and cooperation between departments, divisions and schools within a systematic process. Under his leadership in the Education Division, NMUSD improved instructional programs and student support by building comprehensive instructional programs and intervention systems districtwide, resulting in continuous increase in student achievement in English Language Arts and Mathematics, particularly at Title I schools. He also was instrumental in the expansion of summer programs in engineering and music over the past several years and support of the district’s core instructional program with systematic academic support. As the assistant superintendent of human resources for NMUSD, he built a high-quality workforce to implement, support and lead the instructional program. He also advocated for building leadership from within the district by supporting a leadership program for both certificated and classified employees for aspiring administrators, management and leaders. Prior to his District level positions, Mr. Lee-Sung served as principal of two large comprehensive high schools, successfully closing the achievement gap and creating access and opportunities for all students. He also served as assistant principal, dean of students, department chair and teacher. “I am grateful for his leadership and all he has accomplished in support of students and staff,” said Board President Karen Yelsey. “On behalf of the entire Board of Education, we wish him all the best in his retirement,” she said. It is anticipated that an interim superintendent will be named this summer. The NMUSD Board of Education will begin a superintendent search to permanently fill the position. This process will include opportunities for community and staff to provide their thoughts on the characteristics, qualities and qualifications desired for the next superintendent. Additional information about next steps will be shared with the community and staff in the next several weeks.
Source: CDM High School New

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