After a comprehensive and competitive search process, Marc Malone was recently named the new Superintendent for the Oakdale Joint Unified School District. Malone currently serves as the district’s Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources and will assume the Superintendent role on July 1 from the retiring Fred Rich.
Malone said that the process has been a humbling experience and he’s also humbled by the support from staff and the community. He added that the interview process was intense and thorough but he was well prepared.
“My experience has prepared me for this position,” he said.
Malone acknowledges that he is coming into this new role in a time of ongoing cuts to school budgets.
“Fiscal responsibility is going to be the chief goal, not the only goal,” he said, adding that the district’s finances are a huge piece but not the only piece.
He noted that the district is in deficit spending but has been positively certified by the county that it can pay its bills for the next three years.
He continued that finances are a guiding issue but stressed that managing them isn’t the only goal. A high priority is the instruction to students and having them get a complete and thorough education.
“I want to focus on doing what we are charged to do: educating kids,” Malone said.
He added that the district has been succeeding despite the bad budget and he sees it continuing to succeed.
Malone said that he has the core belief that organizations get better or worse daily. His goal, he said, is to strive to be better. Because of budget cuts, it hasn’t allowed the district to fully implement the strategic plan. He said he wants to reestablish the strategic plan and clearly define the core values stated in the plan, which he said are currently more generalized than he’d like. In further defining the values, it will paint an even clearer picture for where they need to go as a district.
He also said it’s important to continually and strategically look at the things the district does well and look at those things they don’t do well and improve them – something that is a year to year process.
Going into the process, Malone had support from representatives of the teachers’ and school employees’ unions who stated that he had dealt with them fairly in negotiations and had their respect.
“I have a good understanding of what the Oakdale community holds near and dear to their heart,” he said. “They like people who tell the truth…”
He added that he believes he garnered trust by telling the truth, even when the truth was hard to hear, and he wants to continue to gain the trust of the community.
The OJUSD Board of Trustees unanimously approved Malone’s three-year contract in an action at the April 11 regular meeting. Malone’s contract includes a base salary of $135,000, a $500 per month auto allowance, and the same fringe benefits as other district management employees.
The board members noted that Malone was “grilled” and said that he earned the position, having stood out in a field of several qualified, capable candidates.
“I’m so glad you stepped up…to the plate,” said trustee Mike Tozzi. “You impressed every single board member.”
He added that he was glad that the board went through the search process, and although it was controversial, it was thorough. Tozzi also said that he foresees Malone as becoming one of the district’s best superintendents.
Trustee Mike House said that he was impressed with the caliber of all the candidates and that Malone’s selection speaks well of his preparation and that also speaks well for the district.
Trustee Diane Gilbert added that her admiration for Malone grew through the interview process.
Malone has been in the Oakdale district for 25 years. He started his teaching career at Oakdale High School as a classroom teacher in Biology and Physical Education, and also served as the OHS head football coach for 10 years. His responsibilities continuously increased over the years serving as a department chairperson and later as an administrator for alternative education, the high school and junior high school. He was promoted to the district office in 2008 as an Assistant Superintendent.
Malone earned his B.A. degree from CSU Stanislaus, received his Masters in School Counseling and a Clear Pupil Services Credential from the University of La Verne, as well as a Tier Two Clear Administrative Clear Credential from St. Mary’s College. He also completed the ACSA Personnel Administrators Academy, is completing the Superintendent’s Academy, and has been a member of the district’s negotiation team for the past several years.
Malone is a lifelong Oakdale resident and has three children with his wife Stacy. Their older children both attend CSU Fresno and their youngest attends OHS.