Superintendent Catherine Nichols Announces Plans to Retire
Posted on 03/18/2015

With 28 years of committed and dedicated service to the education and betterment of children, Superintendent Dr. Catherine Nichols announced her plans to retire during the Board of Education Meeting on Monday, March 16.  “There is no better work that I could have been called to do and I am grateful to have had the wonderful opportunities I have been afforded,” said Dr. Nichols. 

Known as an exceptional leader and role model, Superintendent Nichols joined the thriving Covina-Valley Unified School District (C-VUSD) in 2010 and has continued to build on the existing success of the ten elementary schools, three middle schools, three comprehensive high schools, alternative education high school, children’s center program, and adult education centers. 

During her five years with Covina-Valley, Dr. Nichols has worked to cut millions of dollars from the District budget while keeping a keen eye on staff morale and remaining focused on student achievement.  She successfully led the District through the passage of a $129 million bond initiative, resulting in the modernization and renovation of schools with projects spanning over the next decade, ensuring our students are surrounded and supported by a learning environment that will best prepare them for the future.  Through her leadership, school programs have been added and expanded including AVID, the addition of Chinese language offerings, Project Lead the Way, the creation of an International Baccalaureate (IB) Program at South Hills High School, and the initiation of an IB middle years program at Sierra Vista Middle School, just to name a few.  As part of her vision to provide career paths for students, the Covina-Valley Trade Tech Academy was recently completed and students are taking classes that will help them secure meaningful employment upon graduation. 

Under her leadership, three C-VUSD schools have been named California Distinguished Schools and an additional three garnered Title 1 Achieving School status, while the continuation high school was recognized as a Model Continuation School.  The District was named in the top ten in the State of California for overall performance in 2012 by Education Trust West and named sixth in the state for closing the achievement gap in 2011-2012. 

Recognizing the importance of service, Dr. Nichols is also actively involved in professional associations and organizations including Urban Superintendents Association of America, California Association of Latino Superintendents, she is a board member of Rotary International, and has served on the Board of the Chamber of Commerce.  She has received numerous awards for her efforts most notably Association of California School Administrators (ASCA) Region XV Superintendent of the Year in 2014; YWCA Woman of Achievement Award, 2013; El Poder Award, Outstanding Work for Latino Students, 2013; and the Parent Teacher Association’s Advocate of Children Award in 2008. 

Before joining C-VUSD, Dr. Nichols served as the Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services, and the Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Staff Development at Glendora Unified.  She was the Coordinator of Curriculum Development and Special Projects, as well as an Elementary School Principal at Temple City Unified, and began her career teaching in the classroom in the cities of Pasadena and La Canada. 

“I am so blessed to have had such a rewarding career in education and creating extraordinary futures for children.  I look forward to the next chapter of my life and spending more time with my husband, our family, our grandchildren, and extended family,” said Dr. Nichols. 

Dr. Nichols is planning her retirement to coincide with her husband’s, who serves as the Superintendent of Duarte Unified School District.  She is working with the Board of Education to determine a date in the future that will allow for the successful recruitment of a new superintendent. 

“Covina-Valley Unified School District is a strong organization staffed with caring adults all focused on creating extraordinary futures for children.  I am proud to call them my colleagues and I know they will continue to do great work well into the future,” said Dr. Nichols.