Rowland, Walnut Valley, Hacienda La Puente school districts get new superintendents

Three public school districts along the 60-Freeway corridor are getting new superintendents this coming school year — Walnut Valley, Rowland and Hacienda La Puente unified school districts. Throw in Rio Hondo College, a community college district with classes in Whittier and El Monte, and that makes four.

Is there something in the region that sends public school and community college chiefs running to the golf course?

When former Walnut Valley Unified School District Superintendent Dean Conklin was asked that question Monday, he blamed the job’s growing duties and the overwhelming stresses emanating from a state government that has relentlessly sliced away K-12 funding.

“Being a superintendent is a position that takes a huge commitment,” Conklin began. “The job can’t be done in 40 hours. So you go in knowing that it will impact your family, your lifestyle.”

After only 2 1/2 years at the helm of one of the highest-performing districts in the state, Conklin said he decided to “retire” at age 57. Then he decided he’d take a job as executive director of The Frostig Center and School in Pasadena beginning July 1.

Read more in Steve Scauzillo’s story SUPER.