William “Bill” Draa will help out Ripon Unified for the time being.
The retired superintendent of the Banta School District was named to the top RUSD administrative post Monday on an interim basis.
“I’m really enthused,” he said at the special board session. “I’m not here just to take up space – I’m hoping that I can make a difference.”
Draa is limited on the amount of days he can work for RUSD – 59 to 60 days between now and June 30, 2014 – based on his 2012 retirement from Banta. He was there for 15 years where he proudly saw the River Island Technology Academy in Lathrop go from a pipe dream to reality.
For now, Draa will help fill the void left when Louise Johnson stepped down to become superintendent of schools for the Nevada Union High School District. He credits Johnson for recommending him for the interim spot.
“I think (RUSD) liked my facilities background, especially with the modernization that’s planned for Weston and Colony Oak schools, and the (pending approval) of the Master Facilities Plan,” Draa said.
After spending years in the private sector – he once worked as a stockbroker – Draa jump-started his career in education at Manteca Unified’s Sequoia School in 1987. He spent four years at Sequoia before becoming vice principal at Stella Brockman School.
In 1997, Draa, who is a Manteca resident, left MUSD for Banta.
He’s looking forward to helping out Ripon, where he spent a few days last week shadowing Johnson. Draa also volunteered to provide his input on the job description for RUSD next superintendent.
“This district has always maintained consistent leadership,” Draa said.
He added: “There have only been three superintendents (in Ripon) for the past 50 years.”
In his limited time, Draa wants to help the district maintain that consistency at the top, with the hope that the position is filled with the right person to help lead the way.
“Ripon should get the leader it deserves,” he said.