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Dr. Devin Vodicka of Vista Unified Named Pepperdine Superintendent of the Year

LOS ANGELES, February 11 – The Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education and Psychology (GSEP) Superintendent Advisory Council has named Devin Vodicka, EdD, as the 2015 GSEP Superintendent of the Year. Vodicka has been superintendent of the Vista Unified School District for the past three years.

“I am grateful that Vista Unified School District continues to receive positive recognition for the excellent progress that is evident in improving student learning.  This is a wonderful reflection on the leadership of the School Board and the effectiveness of our dedicated administrative team.  We are fortunate to be in a community with hardworking teachers and staff, supportive families, and tremendous community partners.  Collectively, we are on the journey to achieving our vision of being the model of educational excellence and innovation,” said Vodicka.   

He was one of 30 superintendents in the U.S. that was invited to Washington D.C. by the U.S. Department of Education to participate in the Technical Working Group to plan for the nationwide launch of the Future Ready Schools Campaign.

In California, Vodicka is involved in several technology networks including the Technology Information Center for Administrative Leaders (TICAL) Leadership Cadre, the Association of California School Administrators Technology Leadership Group, and California Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

“As a colleague of Devin’s, I would describe him as a very principled leader who is visionary, knowledgeable, skilled, witty, collaborative, innovative, hardworking, and high achieving,” said Linda Purrington, EdD academic chair of the master of science in administration and preliminary administrative services credential (the Educational Leadership Academy) and the doctor of education in educational leadership, administration, and policy (ELAP) program at GSEP. “It has been an honor and privilege to work with someone who is so caring, compassionate, and humble.”

Highlights of Vodicka’s achievements:

  • Recognized by the Classroom of the Future Foundation as the "Innovative Superintendent of the Year" for San Diego County in 2014.
  • Vista Unified accepted into the “League of Innovative Schools" which provides opportunities for Vista to network with innovators throughout the country.
  • In 2006, Vodicka joined 21 California administrators as part of the California Department of Education (CDE) sponsored TICAL Leadership Cadre tasked with implementing effective administrative technology use across the State.

Vodicka earned a BA in History from UC Santa Cruz, a MS degree in Educational Leadership from GSEP, and an EdD in Organizational Leadership from GSEP.  His dissertation study was titled, “Social Capital in Schools: Teacher Trust for School Administrators and the Social Networks of Teachers.” Vodicka’s study was funded by the National Science Foundation and conducted in partnership with SRI International.

The Superintendent Advisory Council honored Vodicka and other California superintendents at a dinner reception on January 29 in Monterey, Calif. The event coincides with the Association of California School Administrators’ annual symposium.

Nominees were evaluated based on how well they demonstrated success in the following six areas: visionary leadership, instructional leadership, family and community involvement, ethical leadership and building leadership capacity, organizational management, and advocacy.

About the Superintendent Advisory Council

A consortium of state superintendents gathers four times a year for training, advocacy and discourse regarding issues related to education. The superintendents also advise the Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education and Psychology on teacher credentialing, administrative training, and master’s and doctoral programs. Each year, in tandem with the Association of California School Administrators annual symposium, the Council hosts a dinner in Monterey, Calif. to present the Superintendent of the Year award as well as the Superintendent of Distinction award. The council also expands career opportunities for GSEP students by networking with educational leaders to establish student teaching and administrative fieldwork placements, as well as full-time employment. A “Key Strategies for Educational Administrator Advancement” workshop is sponsored by the Council each spring for current students, alumni and local teachers and administrators. CA Superintendents and the Pepperdine Career Center hold mock-interview sessions and present on résumé building, collecting letters of recommendation, self-assessment, application forms, and placement files.

About the Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education and Psychology (GSEP)

GSEP is an innovative learning community where faculty, staff, and students of diverse cultures and perspectives work collaboratively to foster academic excellence, social purpose, and personal fulfillment. Through its integrative coursework and practical training, GSEP prepares students to serve the needs of others through skilled leadership. GSEP offers six master's and four doctoral programs across its five graduate campus locations throughout Southern California and online. Programs are fully accredited by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, and the American Psychological Association. For more information, visit: gsep.pepperdine.edu