Robert R. Challinor, superintendent of the Muroc Joint Unified School District for the past four years, has been named the top candidate for superintendent of the Wm. S. Hart Union High School District. The district will now enter contract negotiations with Challinor and hopes to be able to introduce the new superintendent at Governing Board meeting scheduled for May 19.
Challinor took over leadership of the Muroc district, with 2050 students, in October 2006. He came to that position from Hesperia Unified School District which is similar in size to the Hart District, where he started as a junior high school principal in 1991, was promoted to high school principal in 1994 and served as assistant superintendent from 2000 until moving to the Muroc district in 2006.
He holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Redlands, a master's in Education and an administrative service credential from Cal State San Bernardino. He has had experience opening a large comprehensive high school and, as Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services, reorganized his division to meet the demands of statewide accountability and No Child Left Behind.
Challinor was named top candidate for the Hart District position after an extensive search by an executive search firm which brought a extensive list of applicants, both from within the Hart District and from school districts across California. Top candidates were called in for personal interviews, and the final few returned for a second interview.
The Hart Governing Board announcement of Challinor came Friday, after a site visit to his district and a closed session Governing Board meeting to set the parameters for contract negotiations. The new superintendent will replace Jaime Castellanos, who has served the district since 2004 and will retire June 30.
Challinor sites 32 years of experience teaching in public schools and serving as a site administrator at both the middle school and high school levels. His former assistant superintendent position was with a large ethnically diverse and growing district, and his position as superintendent of Muroc School District has given him experience working with multiple communities. He also has experience working with special needs students as a Special Day Class teacher.
Opening a new comprehensive high school provided him with experience in new construction in addition to dealing with staff, community, architects and construction trades. "In this era of accountability and an uncertain state budget, there is a need for collaborative leadership that brings groups together to problem solve in such a manner that we never lose focus of our mission to provide quality instruction and educational opportunities to all students," he commented.
Challinor has been active in the Association of California School Administrators and in 2002 received ACSA's Region 12 Administrator of the Year award. In the community, he has been an active member of the Kiwanis Club.