RJUHSD committee selects first female superintendent




RJUHSD’s superintendent search committee recently selected Denise Herrmann, who has worked in education for 28 years, as the district’s first female superintendent. Herrmann will take the place of her predecessor, retiring superintendent Ron Severson, on July 1 of this year.

Herrmann currently serves as the associate superintendent for instructional services at Fremont Unified School District where she’s worked for the last three years. Prior, she worked as a high school site administrator for 18 years and a chemistry teacher for 10 years, according to a district memo.

“[RJUHSD] has a wonderful reputation,” Herrmann said. “I thought it would just be wonderful to be a part of it.”

In her prior position, Herrmann altered Gunn’s school-day schedule from a period to a block setting and worked to institute a wellness program for the district’s students.

“You have two sites [in RJUHSD] already starting wellness programs,” Herrmann said. “I would definitely want to expand that and make sure that we get feedback from the students.”

However, she said she plans to dedicate her first year as superintendent to gaining input from faculty members and district community.

“It’s such a good district,” Herrman said. “There’s no need for me to come in and fix anything.”

Herrmann also looks forward to learning more about RJUHSD offerings that are new to her oversight, like the IB program available to Oakmont and Granite Bay High School students. GBHS IB coordinator Bernadette Cranmer said she has appreciated Severson’s past support of the program.

“Severson has been very supportive of IB as he helped bring it to Granite Bay more than 10 years ago,” Cranmer said. “But I am aware that decisions made by the district office, especially with new administration, can help or hinder IB at any schools.”

On RHS’ campus, several faculty members have expressed enthusiasm over Herrmann’s selection.

“I feel confident in the process that the district went through, and we have a lot of great initiative that I just hope she will continue it,” assistant principal Stephanie Malia said.

Social science teacher Carol Crabtree believes Herrmann’s hiring works towards diminishing the gender gap within RJUHSD’s administration.

“I think it’s fantastic that they found a candidate that’s a woman,” Crabtree said. “It is nice to see representation by a woman at the administrative, and high administrative level.”