Dr. Libia S. Gil, Superintendent of the Chula Vista Elementary School District, announced that effective October 1, 2002 she has accepted a position as Chief Academic Officer of New American Schools, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization whose mission is to increase student achievement through comprehensive school improvement strategies.
Following Gil’s announcement, the Board of Education took unanimous action to appoint Dr. Lowell Billings as the District’s new superintendent upon Dr. Gil’s departure.
In her capacity as Chief Academic Officer, Gill will be the chief advocate of the professional educator’s perspective and chief counselor on leadership development.
Libia Gil has been the Superintendent of Schools in Chula Vista, the largest K-6 district in California, since 1993. Since her arrival in Chula Vista, Dr. Gil has provided successful leadership that has transformed the District into a decentralized organization that empowers stakeholders at the school site to use data and a student-based decision-making process to develop instructional direction. During Gil’s tenure, parents, staff, students, and community members created a district vision, a set of strategic goals, and shared values that have provided a framework for reform.
The Chula Vista Elementary School District has been the subject of numerous national studies in recent years. Presently, CVESD is one of five districts in the nation with more than three years of successive academic progress that are being studied by the Learning First Alliance, representing the 12 largest national professional education associations including AFT, NEA and PTA. The District is also one of a handful of districts selected across the country for a study on comprehensive school improvement conducted by Policy Studies Associates in Washington, DC. The University of Toronto/Johns Hopkins University and The Ball Foundation are conducting other major studies of the District and its operations.
“It’s our loss but New American Schools’ gain,” CVESD Board President Bertha López stated. “She’s a good leader and she’s going to be very successful wherever she goes because she believes in high student achievement for all children as well as high standards for anyone who works under her leadership.”
The New Superintendent
Lowell Billings has held several Assistant Superintendent positions in the Chula Vista Elementary School District. He served as Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Services and Support from 1991 to 1994 and Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services and Support during the 1994-1995 school year. He is currently Assistant Superintendent of Business Services and Support, a position he has held since 1996.
Billings received his doctorate from Northern Arizona University. He was a Director of Research, Projects and Technology and Principal of West View Elementary School in the South Bay Union School District. Dr. Billings taught for 12 years in the Chula Vista Elementary School District where he also served as a Mentor Teacher.
Dr. Billings is very active in the community. He is Vice President of Education for Junior Achievements of San Diego County, Past President of the Boys & Girls Club of Chula Vista, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center. He also serves on an annual basis as a Key Team Member of the South Bay Family YMCA Campaign for Youth.
“Our focus is on students first,” Dr. Billings stated. “My appointment as Superintendent is an honor, but more importantly, a responsibility to this community and its children.”
“It’s not about a position or title,” Billings stressed, “but about team and commitment to share vision and values. I want to thank the Board for their confidence and support and pledge to provide leadership for continuous improvement. I also wish to express well wishes to Dr. Gil as she embarks upon her new career opportunity. She has provided an enormous contribution to this District, the community and, of course, the students.”