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Glendale Unified Board of Education Names Dr. Darneika Watson Next Superintendent of Schools

Posted Date: 10/11/2023

Media Contact:
GUSD Public Information Office
Kristine Nam, Communications Director
(818) 241-3111 x1218

Distribution Date: October 10, 2023


Glendale Unified Board of Education Names Dr. Darneika Watson Next Superintendent of Schools

GLENDALE, CA – The Glendale Unified Board of Education unanimously approved a contract to affirm Dr. Darneika Watson as the next GUSD Superintendent of Schools on Tuesday, October 10. Family, friends and colleagues filled the Board Room to join in celebration of the big announcement.

Dr. Watson has served as the district’s interim superintendent since the previous superintendent, Dr. Vivian Ekchian, retired at the end of June. She has been the district’s Chief Human Resources and Operations Officer since 2020. As a dedicated academic and operational leader, Dr. Watson has served students, educators, and families across Los Angeles for more than 30 years. She spent 26 years with the Los Angeles Unified School District as a bilingual teacher and coordinator, school administrator, and executive director of district operations. Prior to coming to GUSD, Dr. Watson worked at the Los Angeles County Office of Education, providing operational support to the Inglewood Unified School District. 

“Dr. Watson is an exceptional educational leader who is committed to building positive relationships with our students, educators, staff, families, and community,” said Board President Jennifer Freemon. “She shares our Board of Education’s priorities to maximize achievement for all students, foster a positive culture of learning on every campus, and protect the health and safety of students and employees. Her steadfast leadership as interim superintendent over the past few months has proven that Dr. Watson is the right person to lead GUSD.”

"I am humbled, overwhelmed, and thankful to the Board of Education for the opportunity to serve this amazing district. I look forward to continuing the transformative work of my predecessor and mentor Dr. Vivian Ekchian, in collaboration with our students, families, educators, support staff, and community members,” said Superintendent Dr. Darneika Watson. “Student safety, including the mental and physical wellbeing of every child in our district, is my number one priority.”

For further information, please contact Kristine Nam at 818-241-3111 x1218 or