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BUSD advances leadership

BONSALL – The Bonsall Unified School District Board of Trustees is proud to announce that Superintendent Joseph Clevenger will be transitioning to a leadership role at the San Diego County Office of Education.

A BUSD administrator for over seven years, Clevenger credits the incredible teachers, staff, board members, and Bonsall/Fallbrook/Pala/Oceanside/Vista community partners for the remarkable work done each and every day for this exceptional opportunity.

The BUSD Board Trustees are united in congratulating Joseph Clevenger and are excited to support the district's future with seamless continuity. A key aspect of the transition plan is that the Board has named Dr. Heather Golly as the Interim Superintendent. Clevenger will be assuming a split-time role between SDCOE and BUSD for the next five months, ensuring a smooth leadership handover.

Golly has devoted her 29 years in education to creating conditions for transformative educational experiences and access to high quality teaching and learning for all students. For the past three years, she has dedicated herself to the role of Executive Director of Educational Services and Student Services at Bonsall Unified School District.

Prior to that she served as both an Assistant Principal and Principal, International Baccalaureate Coordinator, and Extended Learning Instructor for California State University San Marcos. Her 17 years as a classroom teacher greatly influenced Golly's commitment to fostering a positive and cooperative school climate in which all students can thrive.

Golly has extensively collaborated with BUSD students, teachers, parents, community members, and staff to design the BUSD Framework for the Future. This framework defines the vision, mission, values, and learner profile that serve as BUSD's North Star.

Golly is passionate in supporting Bonsall's vision that all students engage in rigorous and relevant learning experiences that inspire them to be productive community members and future-ready, lifelong learners.

She said, "I am thrilled and honored to serve as the Interim Superintendent for the amazing Bonsall Unified School District community. Our educators are incredibly talented and committed, our community members are deeply involved, and there is a wonderful, close-knit family feel, filled with pride. Together, we will continue to build on our successes and ensure the best possible outcomes for our students."

The five elected Board Members are committed to accelerating academic excellence at Bonsall Unified School District with Golly, the stalwart administrative team, the remarkable teachers and counselors, and the hard working and supportive classified staff. The board members and certificated union leadership each share their thoughts and vision for the future:

Trustee Pascal Lapoirie said, "Superintendent Clevenger leaves a formidable BUSD team that is very well prepared to lead the way forward. During his tenure, Clevenger has assembled an expert and dedicated group of leaders who have championed making the district successful. His transition to the County is a recognition not only of him but also of our programs' vitality and successes. The Bonsall team transcends the individuals and is greater than the sum of its parts. Our dedication and commitment do not fade, but continue to drive the Bonsall Unified School District towards its North Star under the direction of Dr. Heather Golly and the Board."

Trustee Roger Merchat said, "Bonsall Unified School District has terrific teachers and staff who provide wonderful learning and working environments from Pala in the East to Camp Pendleton in the West. BUSD is all about positivity and creating opportunities for our students and employees. We are proud of the professional evolution of our team members as they are recognized for their talents and accomplishments.

"Danny Costa has transitioned from BHS founding teacher to principal at Vivian Banks. Eryn Barker has done a remarkable job expanding higher education possibilities for students to pursue many interests and achieve college credits while at Bonsall High School via the Palomar partnership and was named the San Diego County Counselor of the year, an exceptionally high honor given the thousands of school counselors in the region. The board is especially thrilled to promote Dr. Heather Golly, Bonsall's Executive Director of Education, to interim Superintendent as Joseph Clevenger advances his career to the county level."

Trustee Eric Ortega said, "Joseph Clevenger gives voice to students, teachers, staff, and community to make innovative things happen; he finds ways to get things done by including everyone in the school environment which in turn gives everyone a feeling of belonging. Our community has been brought together in support of our schools. His charisma is contagious and makes everyone in BUSD believe we can achieve anything!

"Mr. Clevenger will be an excellent addition to our San Diego County Office of Education team, and he will dedicate himself to making sure that our Bonsall district continues its successful trajectory during this transition. San Diego offers exceptional educational opportunities for more than half a million students, and his presence at a higher level will assist many more people in maximizing their potential. The Bonsall Unified School District will directly benefit from Joseph Clevenger's elevated leadership in our region, and I trust Dr. Heather Golly to do more great things in BUSD."

Board Clerk Michael Gaddis said, "Mr. Clevenger is one of the most caring, empathetic, and authentic leaders in education. From fist-bumping Kindergartners to high school seniors, to forging meaningful relationships between our district and the extended Bonsall-Fallbrook region (and beyond), to regularly giving shout-outs to those deserving of praise, Mr. Clevenger's positivity is infectious and emblematic of the incredible scholastic environment that is BUSD.

"As he transitions to amplify this energy to benefit all of San Diego County, his inspirational legacy is now forever a part of Bonsall. I am proud that Mr. Clevenger is a shining star who continues to make a significant impact in our amazing community, and that Dr. Golly is fully onboarded to continue to grow our initiatives."

Jen Arellano, Bonsall Teachers Association President, said, "Having worked closely with Mr. Clevenger for the last three years, I am sure he will continue to inspire change, casting a wider reach of his innovative ideas for more students. Bonsall Teachers Association will continue to work with District leadership to realize our shared vision to help all students reach their potential and become valued members of our community."

Board President Larissa Anderson said, "I have been dedicated to Bonsall Unified School District since my family moved to the district in 2009, from being active in my own children's classrooms as a PTA/BEF mom to serving as a Trustee to ensure that all students can maximize their potential at BUSD. My primary objective since assuming office in 2018 is to unify our scholastic community. Elected Board President since 2020, decisions center on what is in the best interest of all our student families and staff..

"The board hired Joseph Clevenger in 2021 because we clearly saw the potential that was not yet on his resume. His team's investment in our schools are paying significant dividends. Three years ago, the California Department of Education established the Purple Star designation to recognize schools that go above and beyond to make sure our military families are supported, and all five BUSD schools have been conferred this honor year after year. Student opportunities such as Early College, The Bonsall School Farm, Arts for All, expanding Career & Technical Education pathways, and the Bonsall Forward Initiative are many and will continue to grow and flourish.

"The BUSD theme for the 2024-2025 school year continues as 'Belong, Believe, Achieve'. The Board believes in our school community to rise. I am confident that the exceptional educators at Bonsall Unified School District under the direction of Dr. Heather Golly will achieve brilliant results. I am grateful that Joseph Clevenger is committed to strengthening this transition through November. The faith of the Board in BUSD is evident in the unanimous decision to call for a bond election in 2024 with the shift in leadership."


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