MCSD Board names new superintendent to lead school district
The Merced City School District’s Board of Education announced Tuesday night that Diana Jimenez will serve as the district’s next Superintendent.
“I’m honored to serve the students and community of Merced, and look forward to strengthening student learning and working together with the Board of Education and all MCSD stakeholders,” Jimenez said.
The MCSD board voted 4-1 to approve the hire. Trustee Jessica Kazakos voted NO without commenting on the matter during Tuesday night’s meeting.
Jimenez will replace Doug Collins who has been the interim superintendent since his predecessor, Al Rogers, left the district in July of 2021 amid allegations of gender discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault and battery. Rogers had only been in the position from the start of 2020.
Jimenez begins her new role in July 1. The new superintendent’s contract is for three years, and her annual salary will be $260,000, with step increases of 2 percent, along with cost of living increases and other MCSD benefits.
A veteran educator with a career spanning over 30-years, Jimenez prides herself on serving students from diverse communities so they can achieve academic success.
She most recently served as Superintendent of Winters Joint Unified School District, where she was successful in implementing and leading academic programs to enhance student achievement, as well as promote equity and technological access to all students. She was the lead grant writer and was awarded the James B. McClatchy Foundation, $600,000 Growing Strong Learners Grant. Additionally, under her leadership the district achieved passage of Measure W, a $19-million bond. Jimenez has served in a variety of other capacities in her career including Chief Academic Officer, Director of Educational Services, Director of Secondary School Support, as well as Principal.
“She has the experience for which we’re looking,” said Board President Birdi Olivarez-Kidwell. “It’s all encompassing. She’s worked with diverse groups of people, and has held distinguishing titles throughout her career. This board is confident in her ability to lead and take MCSD into the future.”
Jimenez holds a master’s degree in educational leadership and a bachelor’s in English. In 2014 she was awarded Stanislaus-Tuolumne Section FFA Administrator of the Year and won Teacher of the Year in 2010. She has been an ACSA Curriculum and Instruction Academy guest lecturer and in 2019 was appointed to serve as a member of the California Department of Education World Languages Curriculum Framework and Evaluation committee. Currently, she’s pursuing a doctorate in education and organizational leadership which she’ll complete in September.