For three years, José Banda quietly went about the business of leading the Anaheim City School District, working through steep budget cuts, remaking the transportation department, passing a $169 million school-construction bond.
He gave principals the chance to try new initiatives, put a special emphasis on helping Spanish-speaking students master English, and used a collaborative leadership style with his staff that encouraged everyone to chime in with ideas. On his watch, test scores rose modestly at some schools, more dramatically at others.
Suddenly, in his fourth year, search firms for much bigger school districts came knocking on his door. With three job opportunities, Banda found himself dusting off his résumé.
It was Seattle that grabbed him, and last week the Seattle School Board unanimously voted to make him the next schools chief.
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