PSUSD Superintendent Announces Retirement Effective June 30, 2021

PALM SPRINGS – For the second time in less than 24 hours a top educator in the Coachella Valley announces retirement. Palm Springs Unified School District (PSUSD) Superintendent of Schools Dr. Sandra Lyon has announced her retirement effective June 30, 2021.

Joel L. Kinnamon, Ed.D. has announced retirement as College of the Desert Superintendent/President effective March 31, 2021. He joined the college as its seventh president in July 2012.

Lyon joined PSUSD as Superintendent in July of 2016 after serving as Superintendent of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District. She made the announcement to staff earlier today and announced publicly at this evening’s Board of Education meeting.

“You just know when it’s time,” Lyon said in a prepared statement. “Being the superintendent in Palm Springs Unified has been the highlight of my career. The staff, students, families, community and board all come together to make a special learning community that cares for and supports each other.”

Board of Education member John Gerardi, the Board’s outgoing President, reflected on Lyon’s contributions during her five years as Superintendent.

“On behalf of the Board of Education, I would like to thank Dr. Lyon for her dedication, commitment and enthusiasm in serving our students, staff and communities,” Gerardi said in a prepared statement. “Dr. Lyon truly has a teacher’s heart. Without question, she understands what good education is and how to implement it. We have all learned much from her, and it is difficult to imagine working with anyone else who has more passion for the position. We wish her much happiness in her retirement.”

Lyon said she wanted to give the Board as much notice as possible to allow for adequate and thoughtful planning for selecting her successor. To that end, the Board of Education will be opening a survey to gather input from staff, parents and community stakeholders they will use to inform their next steps in the selection process.

Lyon noted that there is much work to be done over the next six months, and she plans to keep the focus on that work.

“We are in a good place and will continue to navigate the pandemic, learn and grow and be ready to meet the rest of this school year, taking the best of the new learning from this year with us as we transition to more in-person instruction as soon as it is safe to do so.”

Image Sources

  • Sandra Lyon: DSUSD