Don Gosney

Board of Trustees Hires District’s First Permanent African American Superintendent


Chris_Hurst-A-RFR.jpgThe West Contra Costa Unified School District’s Board of Trustees named Othello School District Superintendent Dr. Kenneth “Chris” Hurst, Sr. as the District’s next superintendent. The Board voted 5-0 at Wednesday night’s board meeting on a three-year contract for Dr. Hurst that begins May 17.

“We are thrilled with Dr. Hurst’s background, experience, and readiness to hit the ground running here in our District and help us to the next level,” WCCUSD Board President Mister Phillips said. “His acumen in social justice, equity, and focus on accelerating student achievement here is impressive. His approach to collaborative leadership and knowledge of teaching strategies, as well as community involvement, are just what we need here in West Contra Costa.”

Dr. Hurst becomes WCCUSD’s 10th permanent superintendent and its first permanent African American superintendent. Sylvester Greenwood and Dr. Cynthia LeBlanc each served one-year terms as interim superintendents.

The Board’s vote followed an exhaustive six-month search process in which WCCUSD held more than 50 listening sessions with students, families, staff, and community stakeholders. The District also gathered more than 6,000 responses from the community on the next Superintendent’s qualities and qualifications.

I am excited to get to work in West Contra Costa Unified and about working together to provide a world-class educational experience for students that prepares them to be globally competent and allows them to compete and participate in our diverse and global society,” Hurst said. “I have an unwavering commitment and dedication to supporting a culture of inclusion and equity throughout the district and community, and what excites me is that we have a board and learning community interested in educational equity for all students.”

Dr. Hurst has served as the Superintendent of the Othello District in Othello, Washington, since 2016. As Superintendent of the 4,500 student District located about 3 hours southeast of Seattle, Dr. Hurst increased graduation rates by 16 percent from 71 percent to 87 percent and reduced absences by 33 percent. 

He also implemented Othello’s K-12 pathway, the District’s Social-Emotional Learning Standards. Dr. Hurst also tripled the number of children enrolled in preschool and increased the percent of preschool students prepared for kindergarten from 30 percent to more than 98 percent.

Chris_Hurst_2-A.-RFRjpg.jpg“We had the opportunity to serve the WCCUSD community in the highest way by hiring a new superintendent,” Board Clerk Jamela Smith-Folds said. “We hired a leader who will lead WCCUSD teachers, administrators, and staff with a united vision, transparency, and accountability. Dr. Hurst has a focused intention to plant seeds of greatness in WCCUSD students, provide resources, and create opportunities.”

In Othello, Dr. Hurst led a District with a student population that is 91 percent Latinx, 32 percent English Language Learners, and 75 percent free and reduced-price lunch through the transition to Distance Learning at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and from Distance Learning to a hybrid model this year.

“Dr. Hurst is equity-focused, has a background of increasing student academic achievement, is data-driven, works in collaboration with all labor partners and families, and is always student-centered,” Board Trustee Demetrio Gonzalez Hoy said. “Dr. Hurst is not just qualified to support our district through these very challenging times, but he has also gone through a successful school reopening in his previous district.”

Before leading the Othello School District, Dr. Hurst served as Associate Superintendent of Educational Services in Oceanside Unified School District, a 19,000 student district 35 minutes northwest of San Diego. While serving as the Associate Superintendent of Educational Services, he supervised the Oceanside Promise’s implementation to ensure all Oceanside students graduated ready for college and career and established the Oceanside Promise Foundation, a 501(c)(3).

In Oceanside, Dr. Hurst collaborated with ConnectEd California, implementing Linked Learning to establish K-12 industry-aligned pathways to prepare students to succeed in college and career. He collaborated to implement the Future Ready technology initiative, designed to create a shared vision of preparing students for success in college, career, and citizenship.

“As the incoming superintendent, I am eager to work within our learning community to confront and address issues of systemic racism, implicit bias, and ensuring growth mindset at every level of the organization,” Dr. Hurst said. “I’m equally excited about deepening our understanding of equity and systemic inequities and also moving toward what it should look like, feel like, and sound like to have an equitable and culturally responsive education for all students.”

Dr. Hurst has 23 years of experience teaching and leading equity in urban, suburban, and rural K-12 districts. He spent 6 years as a principal and assistant principal in Oceanside, including the turnaround principal for Jefferson Middle and Oceanside High schools.

At Oceanside High School, Dr. Hurst led double-digit growth in the school’s academic growth performance. He also facilitated instructional rounds for the Oceanside high school network and the LCAP development.

“Dr. Hurst’s belief in the application of research-based practices and his experience in systems thinking will add structure to our organization, yet enable our entrepreneurial spirit,” Board Trustee Leslie Reckler said. “I'm excited about this partnership.”

Dr. Hurst also served as an administrator in the San Diego Unified and Poway Unified school districts. He started his educational career in Poway Unified as a math and computer programming and computer science teacher.

“I believe that the new Superintendent will bring a nurturing environment to WCCUSD  students with a focus on leadership, empowerment, and direction to the WCCUSD,” Board Trustee Otheree Christian said.

Before his career in education, Dr. Hurst served 12 years in the Marines. His military service includes Maintenance Supervisor at Camp Pendleton (1991–1993), Combat Duty (Desert Storm), Saudi Arabia (1990–1991), Communications Instructor/Supervisor at Camp Pendleton (1988–1990), Drill Instructor, San Diego (1986–1988), and Communications Specialist at Camp Pendleton (1982–1986).

Dr. Hurst earned his Doctorate in Education, K-12 Leadership (Magna Cum Laude), at the University of Southern California in 2011, and his Master of Arts Degree in Educational Administration (Magna Cum Laude) in 2008, and his Bachelor of Science, a degree in Mathematics in 1997 at California State University, San Marcos. He also holds an Associate of Arts degree from National University, San Diego.

Dr. Hurst and his wife Crystal have two grown children, a daughter who is a 6th-grade teacher and a son who is a computer scientist.

Dr. Hurst succeeds Matthew Duffy, who announced in November that he would not seek an extension to his contract. WCCUSD received nearly 30 applications for the position from throughout the country.

Showing 7 reactions

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.
  • Marie Bobby
    commented 2024-03-06 22:44:41 -0800
    How to Recover Cryptocurrency from fraudulent investment platforms.

    Have you ever been a victim of a scam? or have you Suffered a loss from a Fraudulent Ponzi Scheme? I implore you to Contact DWOH, A Certified Cryptocurrency Assets Recovery Expert. I once fell victim to an online imposter who convinced me to invest in a Bogus Cryptocurrency scheme by claiming to have made large profits from the plan. My Mycelium wallet contained $579,000 in Crypto that I lost, I had been reporting to the Authorities tirelessly for a longtime without getting assistance before I finally got in touch with DWOH. Fortunately after a serious long chat with DWOH all my funds were recovered back.
    I recommend this Expert to any victim who has lost Crypto to any fake online Schemes.

    Talk to DWOH Through ;
    Mail: [email protected]
    WhatsApp: +18033921735
    Website: www.darkwebonlinehackers.com
  • Vick Amembo
    commented 2024-01-18 08:07:53 -0800
    Osecybersailing is a first class hacking team that can aid in the recovery of your misplaced cryptocurrency, lost Facebook account and hacking your partner Whatsapp to know if they are cheating on you.
    For a long time, I was very confused and i always felt awful about my partner’s cheating attitude. I really wanted to track and catch him red-handed. I spoke with a trusted colleague of mine at work and she gave me a genuine recommendation about an ethical private investigator named Osecybersailing.
    Osecybersailing and their extraordinary team emerged as the catalysts of change. Their exceptional knowledge and relentless determination Helped me to see all the lies that my partner have been saying. If you also wish to check your partner Whatsapp conversation to know if he/she is cheating then Osecybersailing is the best team for you.
    If you find yourself lost in the depths of lost Bitcoin, facebook and Whatsapp hacking to catch your cheating partner, let Osecybersailing’s team guide you towards the light of redemption.
    Facebook page: Osecybersailing
    Email: [email protected]
    Telegram: osecybersailing
  • Stefan Ward
    commented 2024-01-11 04:36:33 -0800
    The need for more legitimate hacking companies are rising each passing day because of the magnitude of scams being run on the Internet. I know what I went through before I was able to contact Osecybersailing to work on my case after getting scammed multiple times and trying to retrieve back my lost investment funds. After I have invested $670k usd with a fraudulent crypto investment company and i lost everything in the space of one month and got scammed again and again trying to find a solution which wasn’t easy to come by given the circumstances that brought about the incident, getting scammed multiple times is never a good experience for anyone involved which was what exactly happened to me when I got scammed investing into crypto currency. Many posing on the Internet as hacking companies aren’t really what they are because most of them are scammers waiting for a prey to devour, I got referred to reach out to Osecybersailing through a friend and after I investigated about their legitimacy I came across many of their testimony from their satisfied clients that got their lost investment funds retrieved working with this legitimate and evergreen hacking institute which also changed my story helping me retrieve back my lost investment funds. Many of the testimony really were saying great and worthy things about how the company saved them from financial loss, I decided to hire them after many consideration and they didn’t disappoint me by making the choice of choosing them after what I have experienced lately trying to get my funds back from the scammers. They proved they can be trusted with the recovery of lost investment funds which is why I wrote this down for other victims of scam who wishes to ever retrieve back their lost investment funds to let Osecybersailing solve their case, they’re worthy and has what it takes to restore back your funds and peace of mind. If you also wish to check your partner Whatsapp conversation to know if he/she is cheating then Osecybersailing is the best team for you.
    If you find yourself lost in the depths of lost Bitcoin, facebook and Whatsapp hacking to catch your cheating partner, let Osecybersailing’s team guide you towards the light of redemption.
    Facebook page: Osecybersailing
    Email: [email protected]
  • Muawuya Iliyasu Gwandu
    commented 2023-01-09 01:46:30 -0800
    GET RICH WITH BLANK ATM CARD, Whatsapp: +18033921735

    I want to testify about Dark Web blank atm cards which can withdraw money from any atm machines around the world. I was very poor before and have no job. I saw so many testimony about how Dark Web Cyber hackers send them the atm blank card and use it to collect money in any atm machine and become rich. {[email protected]} I email them also and they sent me the blank atm card. I have use it to get 500,000 dollars. withdraw the maximum of 5,000 USD daily. Dark Web is giving out the card just to help the poor. Hack and take money directly from any atm machine vault with the use of atm programmed card which runs in automatic mode.

    You can also contact them for the service below
    • Western Union/MoneyGram Transfer
    • Bank Transfer
    • PayPal / Skrill Transfer
    • Crypto Mining
    • CashApp Transfer
    • Bitcoin Loans
    • Recover Stolen/Missing Crypto/Funds/Assets

    Email: [email protected]

    Text & Call or WhatsApp: +18033921735

    WEBSITE: https://darkwebonlinehackers.com
  • James Benson
    commented 2022-11-24 02:24:28 -0800
    Why struggle with bad credits when you can actually get them fixed within a couple of days with HACK VANISH CREDIT SPECIALIST, a professional hacker who has aided me in various ways, he fixed and increased my FICO credit score to a whopping 786 across all three bureaus, tracked my cheating wife calls, and also gave me access to all her social media accounts. HACK VANISH also specializes in recovering lost cryptocurrencies for victims of binary scams. Reach out to him today for help on WhatsApp: +1(747) 293-8514 or Email: HACKVANISH @ GMAIL. COM

    Thank me later.
  • Sonia Walcott
    commented 2022-09-16 14:50:07 -0700
    I tried getting a car loan sometime last year but my credit score of about 521 ruined the process. Since I was in desperate need of a car due to the nature of my new job, I resorted to making online research on how I could restore my credit to a minimum of 650 to enable me to qualify, after a few months of searching, I bumped into a blog and found positive reviews about HACK VANISH CREDIT SPECIALIST, So I reached out to them to explain my credit situation, they requested my info and necessary details and were able to get every derogatory item on my report erased and increased my FICO score to 788 within 6 days, I was amazed. They are fast and reliable. Anyone looking for a credit solution below is their contact details:

    Phone No. + 1 ( 7 4 7 ) 2 9 3 -8 5 1 4
  • Don Gosney
    published this page in News 2021-04-14 22:51:03 -0700
Fight your California speeding ticket and win here. Fight your red light camera ticket here. Fight your cell phone ticket here.