Evans Says He Was Eyeing Job In Berkeley Since Last Year

Dr. Donald Evans

BERKELEY | The former Hayward superintendent of schools Dr. Donald Evans labeled his new role as head of the Berkeley Unified School District as “his ministry,” in a profile today in Berkeleyside, while his previous flock prays for enlightenment on their own.

Evans, who left Hayward in June after less than two years on the job, revealed to the independent new site having interest in applying for the position on two previous occasion last fall as the Berkeley school board twice misfired on hiring a new superintendent. One candidate was dismissed after revelations he supported Proposition 8, the ballot measure that abolished same-sex marriages in California.

Although Evans never publicly communicated the breadth of his disenchantment in Hayward, his eye for greener pastures was apparently was long held. In the profile, Evans also describes an strong affinity for Berkeley and his Oakland home.

“Berkeley is very eclectic,” Evans told Berkeleyside. “You have a lot of different types of people, and it has an intellectual energy that I find extremely stimulating. I thought that it would be a great fit for me, to be in an environment that has this eclectic, intellectual, stimulating environment. As a superintendent, you want to be challenged in a way where you’re growing, but you’re also contributing in a community that’s forward‑thinking.”

Despite attempts to pad Evans’s accomplishments in Hayward–erroneously linking him to the Promise Neighborhood federal grant and passage of a school parcel tax last year–many have described his role in Hayward as ineffectual and often times distant from the plight of the district long seen as the most underperforming in Alameda County. Hayward schools were the worst before Evans and it continues to carry the dirty moniker upon his departure.