Santa Clara Unified Names Dr. Stella Kemp as Superintendent

The Santa Clara Unified School District has named a superintendent to replace Stanley Rose as he brings his near-half-century career in education to a close this summer.

In a unanimous vote Thursday, the SCUSD board of trustees named Stella Kemp his successor. “I’m excited to join the Santa Clara Unified family, meet everyone and do my part to continue the upward momentum of the district,” she said in a news release.

Kemp comes to SCUSD with more than three decades of experience in public education, a career that’s taken her from Texas to Germany and California, where she, since 2017, has served as superintendent of San Bruno Park School District. According to her LinkeIn profile, Kemp’s stint in San Bruno came after nearly seven years as assistant superintendent of the Franklin-McKinley School District.

The career educator studied at the University of Texas at Austin before going on to earn higher degrees and additional credentials at Texas Women’s University, University of North Texas and the University of Southern California.

SCUSD Board President Michele Ryan said she’s grateful that the district could attract someone of Kemp’s caliber.

“Dr. Kemp’s demonstrated success as a teacher, site administrator, assistant superintendent for educational services and superintendent uniquely qualifies her for the position of superintendent in Santa Clara Unified,” Ryan said. “In addition, her doctoral dissertation centered on school governance and improving student achievement. The board and I are very excited to welcome Dr. Kemp to the SCUSD family.”

The appointment comes after a months-long search, which the board kicked off at the start of this year when Rose announced his planned retirement after 46 years in the field. His last day on the job is set for June 30; Kemp’s first day will be July 1.

Trustees agreed to set Kemp’s annual salary at $275,000 and allow for 2 percent raises for each subsequent year in which her performance is rated as satisfactory.

To incentivize her to stay longer-term, the district will raise that increment to 3 percent of her base salary after five years in the position. Should Kemp go above and beyond, she may qualify for bonuses of up to 8 percent of her base pay, according to a compensation summary provided by the district.

Kemp is also eligible for up to $7,500 in reimbursements for moving costs.

SCUSD serves upward of 15,500 students and encompasses a 56-square-mile area in Santa Clara and parts of Sunnyvale, San Jose and Cupertino.


  1. Will the new superintendent convene a totally independent investigation of the sexual harasment and abuse/ cover ups going on in SCUSD? Milquetoast and cowardly Stan failed the 15 courageous students who stood up. Read one student’s credible allegation at

    • Dr. Bill:

      What is your take on the SAT’s plans to report an “adversity score” for students who take the SAT?

      Colleges and universities eagerly highlight the Verbal and Math SAT scores for students in their programs. Do you think colleges will be eager to report the “adversity scores” for their students?

      And do you think the the “adversity score” will end up becoming a substitute “whiteness score”?

      Will schools with low “adversity scores” be perceived as schools with high “white privilege” and therefore attract more “white students”?

      Will schools with high “adversity scores” be perceived as schools with lower SAT scores, and therefore less “elite”?

      Will “anti-semitism” be deemed to be “adversity”, and thereby help Jewish students get into Harvard, where they are already overrepresented?

      Will be an “Asian student” be deemed to be adversity, and thereby give Asian students an advantage in enrolling in Berkeley or UCLA?

      Do you think the SAT’s “adversity scores” will have much of an effect on the admissions practices of colleges and universities? What effects do you foresee?

  2. Hello SJOB,

    The SAT adversity score is another example of mis-labelling in education. None of the grown ups really want to take responsibility for the serious systemic problems in education that they in fact are responsible for to a great extent. Maybe we should relable this malapropism “The Accommodation for Perennial Assisngment of Novice Teachers to Children of Color” Score?

    The SAT Adversity Score is again an attempt by educators to absolve themselves of responsibility. K-12 educators manipulate dropout codes and pressure teachers to pass students for attendance and effort rather than achievement and you get 40% of K-12 “graduates” enteirng the Cal State system needing remediation but not getting it because Cal State dropped their remedial courses and laid the burden on the professors. It is one reason why there will never be a longitudinal data system in CA because it would embarass and expose he six-figured educational schmoozers for their obvious failures in preparing students for college. Better to give students Adversity Scores on the SAT and wash our hands.

    Of course another big root cause problem are the the abysmal colleges of miseducation who recruit the least qualified and train them poorly resulting in a teacher pool that is woefully deficient in professional practices abilities as well as content knowledge. And who do Governance and DAs sanctimoniously assign these novice unprepared teachers to? Why of course the schools witih children of color. Now they want to dumb-down the Credentialing exam to make it easier for these poorly prepared teacher candidates to pass. So we have just another derivative of the rage against the thermometers phenomena! Better than addressing the root cause problems!

    The K-12 system is in academic crisis but it won’t admit it.( Better to label it away with broken band-aids that blame the victims. Failing to prepare students academically, we have now moved on to Social-Emotional Learning for our students with lots of hygge so they will be super comfortable and adapted as they slide into their Walmart Greeter jobs while Asians graduates kick ass and earn high paying circuit designer jobs.

    Unfortuanately, it will be at least 2.5 generations before we even recognize the errors of our ways!

    • > Now they want to dumb-down the Credentialing exam to make it easier for these poorly prepared teacher candidates to pass.

      And speaking of “Credentialing”, how does the accreditation system for colleges and universities work?

      It occurs to me that one of the ways to impose some discipline and accountability on higher education is through the accreditation system.

      Why should a university that collects gobs of money from students (and their student loan providers) for four years of baby sitting and a piece of sheepskin with a gold seal and a ribbon when the the student hasn’t learned anything real and is unemployable? What did the student get in exchange for a hundred thousand bucks or more? NOTHING!

      High minded scolds attacked Donald Trump for the putative lack of academic rigor and academic value of his “Trump University”. The school was pressured into giving refunds for the “education” it provided.

      What’s different about Harvard? Or Stanford? Or Berkeley?

      Are students with degrees in “gender studies” or “white guilt” employable? Do they learn anything but the bigoted conceits of insulated, introverted, obsessive academic sociopaths?

      Who provides the “accreditation” for higher education? Who accredits the accreditors?

      What does a university have to do to demonstrate the legitimacy of its academic “offerings”.

      What recourse is available to those who are dissatisfied with their academic experience or results?

      What does it take to revoke the accreditation of a college or university? Shouldn’t it happen more often? Why doesn’t it happen more often?

      Is there any consumer protection for the victims of fake education?

      • Looks like you have gone off the deep end here SJ! Trump has fallen on his own petard! He claims academic credibility by being the best student at the Wharton School. His Trump University is truly a scam! Best not to bring our buffoon president into the discussion! Better that he get a medical intervention or a political impeachment!

  3. Wow what a privilege to have someone like Dr. Kemp as a new superintendent! With her leadership and support of the board, she will definitely be able to continue the upwards momentum for SCUSD! What an honor to have her!

  4. I wish her the best as well! It is time to deal with the endemic corruption in SCUSD. No more sweeping it under the rug! Lead the District in becoming fully open and transparent as light is the best disinfectant!

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