Redlands Unified officials approve interim superintendent’s contract

Redlands Unified has a new interim superintendent — Juan Lopez. Lopez is the former superintendent of Val Verde Unified School District and is currently serving as interim superintendent for the Coachella Unified School District, a position he’s held for the past six months.
Redlands Unified has a new interim superintendent — Juan Lopez. Lopez is the former superintendent of Val Verde Unified School District and is currently serving as interim superintendent for the Coachella Unified School District, a position he’s held for the past six months. FILE PHOTO

REDLANDS >> The Board of Education on Tuesday unanimously approved Juan Lopez’s contract as Redlands Unified’s interim superintendent.

The action comes as the district continues to move forward in its search to replace Lori Rhodes, whose retired Friday.

Lopez, 67, retired in 2015 as the superintendent of the Val Verde Unified School District, and previously served as interim superintendent in the Coachella Unified School District, a position he held for six months.

Lopez begins his tenure with Redlands Unified on July 1, but attended Tuesday’s board meeting.

“It feels healthy to contribute,” Lopez said after the meeting.

Lopez plans to meet with district staff and help build a plan for the future permanent superintendent.

“For me it’s clear: Anything we do ultimately benefits kids,” he said. “That connection is clear as day to me.”

The board appointed Lopez at a special board meeting on May 19.

According to his agreement with the board, Lopez will be paid $1,000 per day for three days per week, for a maximum of 42 days or until a new superintendent is found. He will not receive any health benefits.

Rhodes, 55, retired after nearly three decades in public education and almost 10 years as district superintendent.

She plans to continue rooting for RUSD on the “sidelines.”

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