Superintendent bids farewell after 39 years

Maddie Pei, Managing Editor

After 39 years in education and 7 years as Sequoia Union High School District’s superintendent, Jim Lianides will retire at the end of the school year. Lianides’ most impactful actions in office include expansion of school facilities and redrawing school district linesall in efforts to give everyone an equal opportunity.

“We’re on the right path in narrowing the achievement gap,” Lianides said. “My hope is the next superintendent stays on this path. I don’t want anyone to think we should pat ourselves on the back and say, ‘We’re done.’”

During his time at the district office, to accommodate the growing student population, Lianides supervised construction of the “A,” “S” and “J” wings at Sequoia, Carlmont and Woodside, respectively.

Prior to Lianides’ term, district lines caused students from the same middle school to go to different high schools. Redrawing district lines ultimately allows students to have a better sense of community.

Aspirations Advocates is one program that helps at-risk students graduate. The support system consists of one full-time teacher per school to look out for incoming freshmen. Lianides also works closely with English language learners in the district and maintains a close relationship with the local K-8 schools.

The Redwood City native and graduate of Woodside High School became a teacher in 1978 and became principal and Chief Business Officer in later years, before becoming superintendent.

“We live in a very complex society,” Lianides said. “Now, in the Information Age, we have to be able to process information and analyze information. Jobs and careers now are very specialized, where a strong skill base is very important. We need to do all we can to prepare our students for jobs.”