Dr. Donald Evans was named Hayward
superintendent in Nov. 2011.

HAYWARD | The superintendent of the Hayward Unified School District is a finalist for the same position in Berkeley, The Citizen has learned.

Berkeley Unified will formally announce Dr. Donald Evans is a finalist for the position Friday morning, according to sources.

Evans’s interest in seeking employment outside of Hayward after just 18 months at the helm of its schools is a surprise to many. It also comes at time when his office has led renewed efforts to formulate of new mission statement for the district along with two town hall meetings scheduled for the next few weeks.

“After searching all over the country for a strong instructional leader who is the best fit for Berkeley, the Board believes we have found our next superintendent right next door in Hayward,” said Board President Karen Hemphill. “Dr. Evans came highly recommended from multiple sources, and we were even more impressed once we had an opportunity to meet with him and hear what his vision and experience could bring to our community.”

After serving as an associate superintendent in Compton, Calif. and overseeing Oakland’s elementary schools, Evans was named superintendent for Hayward’s struggling schools in November 2011.

Although Hayward’s academic scores still rank as the worst in Alameda County, during Evans’s tenure, the district moved clear of a possible state takeover that had hovered over it for several years, but was also plagued by constant infighting and bickering on the school board. An affair between the previous board’s president and a fellow school trustee reported in late July 2012 paralyzed the school board until two new members were elected last November.

The situation in Berkeley has been similarly unstable. After the retirement of Berkeley Superintendent Bill Huyett in August 2012, the school district named interim co-superintendents before failing to name a permanent replacement on two occasions.

Evans is scheduled to lead two town halls on the future of Hayward’s schools on Saturday, Apr. 20, Schafer Park Elementary School, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. and Apr. 27, Winton Middle School, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

NOTE: Additions were made to this article following Friday’s official announcement.