School district hires new superintendent

Mary Shelton hopes to move district to next level

The San Ramon Valley Unified School District has a new superintendent, and Sacramento is mourning the loss of a much-loved administrator.

Mary Shelton signed on Wednesday night to succeed Steven Enoch, who retires at the end of the month after a 40-year career in education and four years in the San Ramon Valley.

Until her appointment as SRVUSD superintendent on Wednesday, Shelton was chief accountability officer with the Sacramento City Unified School District.

Shelton said that title has different meanings in different districts, explaining, "What I do is supervise all our schools, K-12, adult education, alternative education, all of our 80 K-12 sites."

That includes assessments and testing, program evaluation, data analysis and technology, according to her job description.

Shelton described the interview process that landed her the head SRVUSD slot as "days of interviews."

"Then they sent one site team down to my district," she added.

That team, according to SRVUSD School Board Member Greg Marvel, found only good news.

"We basically grilled them," Marvel said. "This is the first time in my long career doing this (where) we had people in the district who got teary eyed when they heard we were stealing her."

"She believes passionately in public education," Marvel continued. "What more could you want?"

The search for a new superintendent began when Enoch announced his retirement in March. A consulting firm came up with a list of candidates that was pared down by the district, and Shelton quickly emerged as the district's top choice.

"I was impressed with the board and the commitment to students in this district," she said Wednesday night.

Shelton has been an administrator in the Sacramento district for 11 years, and was a math teacher, then an administrator at Jesuit Catholic High School, also in Sacramento, for the 11 years before that.

She began her educational career teaching college math at Louisiana State University and Millsaps College; before that, she was a programmer for Chevron in New Orleans.

She has two grown children, an attorney and a civil engineer, both of whom live out of the area.

Shelton said she's ready for the next big challenge, moving the district beyond being the best in California.

"I look forward to leading us toward the No. 1 district in the nation," she said.


Like this comment
Posted by Nancy
a resident of Danville
on Jun 7, 2012 at 8:12 pm

Does she have any advanced degrees?

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Posted by Greg
a resident of Danville
on Jun 7, 2012 at 9:07 pm

She has a MS in Mathematics.

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Posted by Linda
a resident of San Ramon
on Jun 8, 2012 at 7:56 am

Sounds like a great choice for this district. Very impressed they went for the best candidate and not fall into the "we gotta drink from the diversity cup" and go with less qualified. Hopefully those years are over in all businesses.

Like this comment
Posted by B. Lynn Goodwin-Brown
a resident of Danville
on Jun 8, 2012 at 1:33 pm

I wish you all the best, Mary Shelton. I had some wonderful experiences as a drama and English teacher in the district years ago. Of course, I had some bad days too.

From time to time, I run into former students. Many have grown into responsible parents and professionals. Some have teens of their own. They ask if I am still teaching, and often apologize for those classmates who were troublemakers. I particularly love bumping into the balding men and full-figured women who ask, “Did you used to be my English teacher?"

If I linger in their minds after all these years, I did much more than grade papers...I hope.

Like this comment
Posted by Mike
a resident of Danville
on Jun 11, 2012 at 7:53 am

I wish the Walnut Creek School District did the same thing. They could use a real superintendent.

Like this comment
Posted by Asian
a resident of Blackhawk
on Jun 11, 2012 at 2:10 pm

@Linda "we gotta drink from the diversity cup" and go with less qualified" .. really, that comment is lame and senseless.

Mary was best qualified .. period.

You seem to be a frustrated individual, who was not smart or industrious and now is facing tough competition in the workforce. Good luck living in negativity!

Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Walnut Creek

on Jun 5, 2017 at 2:37 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?

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