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During his tenure as superintendent of San Diego Unified School District, Carl Cohn recruited heavily from outside the district, particularly to fill the ranks of a new layer of oversight he created at the district called area superintendents.

The area supes were supposed to be the superintendent’s personal representatives in various parts of the school district, and some at the district now wonder how many will stay now that Cohn has announced his plans to leave.

This morning, I had a chance to talk to one of the area supes, Delfino Alemán, who was recruited by Cohn from outside of the state. Unlike many of the other top administrators brought in by the superintendent, he had not worked with Cohn in Long Beach.

Alemán said he intends to stay on even after Cohn leaves.

“My commitment is to the district,” he said. “Of course, many of us came in because of: No.1, the challenge of working in San Diego; and No .2, because of the reputation Dr. Cohn had as an education leader.”

Asked whether his colleagues also plan to remain in San Diego, Alemán said: “At least the sense that I have from everyone is that we still have work to do. The message form Dr. Cohn, is, ‘Hey, we still work. We work everyday, we have work to do, and we’re definitely on the right path, and we should continue.’”

Alemán said Cohn deserves the most praise for stemming the tide of the district’s declining enrollment and his work to close the achievement gap between its highest achieving students and its underperforming minorities.


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