“It is in times of crisis that good leaders emerge.” ~ Rudy Giuliani, former Mayor of New York

Good Leaders Emerge in Crisis in Cathedral City

Interim Superintendent Tony Signoret and his nephew cleaning up in the wake of Tropical Storm Hilary.

CATHEDRAL CITY — If it is indeed true that good leaders emerge in time of crisis, Tony Signoret, interim superintendent for Palm Springs Unified School District has emerged a leader.

Signoret, who became interim superintendent on July 3, stood before members of the Cathedral City Council on Wednesday, and on his way stopped by Home Depot to purchase “a couple of shovels” to help in the clean-up effort after Tropical Storm Hilary ravaged the community.

Sure enough, on Thursday morning, he and his nephew, Noah Baker-Aidukas. 18, were shoveling dirt to assist with the massive job of cleaning up. Baker-Aidukas graduated in June from Palm Springs High. His goal is to pursue a career as a firefighter with the California Forest Service.

“Anything I can do to help, count on it, please,” Signoret told the City Council.

As interim superintendent, he oversees more than 21,000 students and a team of more than 2,000 employees providing education to students in Cathedral City, Desert Hot Springs, Palm Desert, Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage, Sky Valley, and Thousand Palms.

Signoret told Councilors that he wanted to express his gratitude to them for all they did during the local emergency. Signoret said the amount of information the city disseminated had been “tremendous.” Cathedral City schools had received “very good” information.

“The level of communication has been outstanding,” Signoret said.

Signoret has been a resident of Palm Springs since 1996. He lived in Cathedral City from 1993 to 1996. He started his teaching career with PSUSD at Agua Caliente Elementary and was an assistant principal and principal at Landau and principal at Cathedral City Elementary.

“With approximately 17 years of my career in Cathedral City, I feel very close to the community,” Signoret told Uken Report.

Palm Springs Unified School District Trustees have approved a $26,500 contract with Glendora-based Leadership Associates to conduct a search for a new superintendent. Signoret who was the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources is eligible to apply for the permanent position, Joan Boiko, Coordinator of Communications & Community Outreach, confirmed.

Uken Report directly asked him if he is a candidate. He replied saying, “Relative to the superintendency, that is a Board decision. However, during the interim timeline, I’m fully committed to doing everything I can to support our students, families and the entire PSUSD community.”

Deadline for applications is Sept. 28 with the expectation a new superintendent will be on board Jan. 1.

Some feel there is no need for a search.

Denise Roriguez Bowman wrote on social media, “They have a perfectly great one — the interim.”

Rick Saldivar of Cathedral City said, “I really like him.”

Chauncey L. Thompson, a CPA firm director who lives in Indio, has been impressed with Signoret. “Many I talk to thought he should’ve gotten the position over Mike (Swize) a few years ago. I don’t have a personal stake in the game, but his leadership and communication were spot on over the weekend and this week (during Tropical Storm Hilary.) (There were) emails, calls and texts. No one should say they did not receive guidance.”





Image Sources

  • Superintendent Tony Signoret and his nephew: PSUSD
  • Tony Signoret: Cathedral City Video