Parulan-Colfer named superintendent in Hacienda La Puente Unified

In a surprise move, the largest school district in the San Gabriel Valley chose a new superintendent during a closed-door, off-site meeting at the Courtyard Marriott hotel over the weekend.

After interviewing five candidates for the job, the Hacienda La Puente Unified School District board of education voted 4-1 to promote Interim Superintendent Cynthia Parulan-Colfer to the top spot.

Board member Anthony Duarte voted no. In June, Duarte also voted against putting Parulan-Colfer into the interim position. “I thought we needed someone with a stronger instructional background,” Duarte said.

She was preceded by 40-year district veteran Barbara Nakaoka, who retired after seven years as superintendent on June 30.

The board majority said Parulan-Colfer was the best choice for the job because of her administrative skills. Previously, she headed up the district’s adult education and regional occupation programs.

“I’ve been working closely with Cindy and given that this has been one of the most difficult times to be superintendent of the district, with all the controversy, she’s handled it very well,” said board president Jay Chen.

Read more in Steve Scauzillo’s story tomorrow in Tribune and Thursday’s Highlander.