OAKHURST — Yosemite Unified Superintendent Jim Sargent has accepted a position with the Madera County Office of Education to work region-wide, directing District and School Renewal.
Present at so many events throughout the school community for years, he has served as Superintendent at YUSD since July of 2012 following his previous service as a Superintendent at Caruthers Unified in Fresno County.
“It has been a privilege for me to serve as Superintendent of Yosemite Unified School District these past four years,” says James “Jim” Sargent.
“I am proud of the work we have been able to accomplish and of the successes of our students. It is an honor to be part of the rich history of the Yosemite Unified School District. I am excited for our bright future,” said Sargent of the new position.
Mr. Sargent has left his mark on the district during some challenging years following the recession and declining enrollment. He guided the district from Qualified Budget status to a Positive Budget certification while helping to transition the district to the new Local Control Funding Formula and increased public engagement through the Local Control Accountability Plan process.
He leaves a new leadership team with strong expertise in the areas of business and fiscal mangement, school site leadership, and special education, to name a few.
During his tenure, Career Technical Education programs have been expanded, enrollment and participation have increased, an arts program has grown, new reading and behavior intervention specialists have been added to the elementary schools. In addition, strong school safety programs (including partnership with Madera County Sheriff Office for a Resource Officer) and health services have been upgraded district wide. With the completion of Federal E-rate program funding this fall, all school sites will have 1 gigabit of bandwidth to support the continued development of curriculum and instruction and digital opportunities.
His vision for YUSD has also led to new independent study programs that allow students more options for their education, often splitting time between rigorous independent study curriculum and traditional high school courses, while being able to participate in all of the extracurricular programs of the schools. Meanwhile, all of the secondary alternative education and adult education programs moved into the remodeled complex on the YHS campus.
Mr. Sargent is the first to point out that this has been a team effort, calling the work of his colleagues inspirational.
“I want to express my appreciation for the outstanding community support and leadership, starting with the Yosemite Unified School District Board of Trustees,” says Mr. Sargent. “Working with the YUSD board will be one of the highlights of my professional life. I also would like to express my personal appreciation for community leaders and all of the generous business and community members and organizations who give so much of their time, money and energy to the students of the district. And it has been humbling and inspirational to work with the many talented and committed teachers, staff members and administrators who make up our district. This has been a special experience for me.”
Madera County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Cecilia Massetti states, “We are looking forward to Mr. Sargent working with the Madera County Superintendent of Schools and the districts in our region. Mr. Sargent brings tremendous talent and experience as a district superintendent to the County Office to facilitate mentoring districts working with Local Control Accountability Plans, federal projects and a district perspective to the support role of the County Office.”
Mr. Sargent will complete his work in YUSD on Saturday, Sept. 16 and is excited about his new role.
“I am looking forward to the next chapter of my career and taking on a new challenge working with Madera County Office of Education as a director of District and School Renewal throughout the region. It will be a unique opportunity to use the knowledge and skills I have learned serving as a Superintendent in two districts and share that with others. I also look forward to spending some more time outside exploring the mountains and getting away to spend time with my children and soon to be three grandchildren. It will be a rewarding new chapter for me and I am confident the future of YUSD will be bright. ”