The San Bernardino City Unified School District (SBCUSD) Board of Education recently promoted career educator and San Bernardino native Ana Applegate to assistant superintendent of the Educational Services Division, which oversees the academic achievement of students from kindergarten through high school.
Applegate, first hired to teach at Hunt Elementary School in 1993, will oversee key departments like Elementary Instruction and Secondary Education, Professional Development, and Multilingual Programs, among others vital to student learning. With an estimated 48,000 students, SBCUSD is the ninth largest school district in California.
Applegate assumes her new leadership role amid challenging school closures prompted by the coronavirus pandemic, which has placed greater emphasis and demand on remote teaching and learning. She will be tasked with strengthening the district’s distance learning program while also preparing for the eventual return of students to in-class learning when it’s deemed safe to reopen schools, as guided by local and state guidelines.
Over her 28-year tenure with SBCUSD, Applegate has built a solid track record of advocacy on behalf of all students, using her personal experiences of growing up in San Bernardino and being the parent of former SBCUSD students, to shape part of her work. While Applegate expressed excitement for her new role, she emphasized the importance of taking a collaborative, servant-leadership approach.
“I’m committed to working to provide all our students the highest quality educational experience in order to prepare them for college and careers,” Applegate said. “The relationships we build with students, families and employees are an important foundation for our work.”
Most recently Applegate served as director of Multilingual Programs, where she was responsible for overseeing all of the English learner programs, implementing the International Newcomer Academy at Pacific High School, and the trilingual program (English, Spanish and Vietnamese) at Belvedere Elementary School. Prior to that role, she held a variety of positions, including mentoring new teachers. Applegate earned her bachelor’s degree and bilingual cross-cultural credential from California State University, San Bernardino. She earned her master’s degree in education administration from Azusa Pacific University.
Applegate is the third cabinet member to be promoted from within the district’s administrative ranks in recent months, which is attributed to the quality of educational leadership within the district, said Interim Superintendent Harold J. Vollkommer.
“As educators, we are in the business of building human potential,” Vollkommer said. “Ana is a progressive leader with a clear vision to help our students succeed academically. She takes that responsibility very seriously. Her passion for students and institutional knowledge are assets to our school district.”