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County schools leader Fredrick Wentworth stepping down in 10
Fredrick Wentworth
San Joaquin County Superintendent of Schools Fredrick A. Wentworth announced Wednesday he will be retiring from his post after nearly 20 years at the helm.

He made his announcement in a letter that he presented to the county Board of Education. The letter was addressed to board president Anthony Gutierrez.

“I have enjoyed my work at the county office and the wonderful opportunities it has brought to me. These years, plus the 23 years I provided educational services to students in San Joaquin County schools, have been a treasure. However, with the next primary election quickly approaching, I must take this opportunity to announce that I will not seek reelection in June 2010,” the longtime Manteca resident and former Escalon and Manteca Unified School District administrator stated in his retirement letter.

He also endorsed his deputy superintendent, Mick Founts of Manteca, to succeed him at the helm.

“Although it is my intent to complete my term through 2010, I am in support of Mick Founts’ campaign for the position of County Superintendent and give him my full endorsement,” stated Wentworth whose career in education will span nearly 45 years at the time of his retirement next year.

Reacting on the superintendent’s endorsement, Founts said, “I’m just really honored that I have an opportunity to run for this office and to have Rick’s endorsement and support.”

Working with Wentworth for nearly two decades at the county office “has been a blessing,” he said. “We’ve really had a history of success and I want to continue to build on that.”

Wentworth said in his letter that he has “full confidence that the current leadership team will continue the good work that has been accomplished during our years together.”

The county superintendent seat is an elected position with each term spanning four years.

As head of the county office of education, Wentworth oversees a wide array of county educational programs including community schools for at-risk students, migrant educational programs, and the county charter school.

In his 43-year career in education, Wentworth has been a teacher, coach, counselor and school administrator for the school districts in Manteca and Escalon. On the state level, he has served as president of the California County Superintendent Educational Services Association and is a long-standing member of the Association for California School Administrators.

The former Manteca mayor and City Council member earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from California State University, Chico, and his doctorate in education from the University of the Pacific in Stockton. He also holds various Standard Services Teaching credentials.
His extensive community involvement includes serving as board member of Premiere Community Credit Union and the San Joaquin County Workforce Investment Board. He has also been active in such civic organizations as the Rotary International Club, the Stockton Symphony Association, and the United Way of San Joaquin County.

The Fred Kiesel Memorial Distinguished Service Award that was presented to Wentworth in 2001, and most recently the 2009 Building Strong Kids Award of YMCA, both recognize his dedicated service to the community and its youth. He was inducted to the Manteca Hall of Fame in 2007.