When picking a new superintendent, the Rowland Unified School District’s Board of Education chose to go with someone familiar with the job.
The board Tuesday night appointed Ruben P. Frutos as the district’s superintendent, according to a news release. Frutos has serve as the district’s interim superintendent since Sept. 1, after the previous Superintendent Maria Ott retired.
Board President Cary Chen said during his congratulatory remarks that the trustees had set high expectations for Frutos in business and academics and encouraged him to look to his administrative team’s expertise to help him lead the district, according to a news release.
Vice President Robert Hidalgo said that Frutos would continue to board’s vision “to keep kids first.”
Board Clerk Gilbert Garcia said that the district plans to focus on growth, accountability, leadership, and closing the achievement gap for all students. The late Stanley G. Oswalt, who served as Rowland Unified’s superintendent for 17 years, also came from a business background, Garcia added.
Frutos’ educational career has spanned more than 24 years. He has worked for both large and small school districts, including the San Diego County Office of Education.
As an assistant superintendent for the Calexico Unified School District, Frutos was involved in expanding middle school student exposure to career fields including biotechnology, civil engineering, and medicine, which were outside of that district’s normal focus on vocational education, according to Rowland Unified officials.
Frutos also served previously as assistant superintendent of businesses services/chief business officer for West Covina, South Pasadena, Calexico, and Los Alamitos unified school districts. He was on the negotiation team and superintendent’s cabinet for all districts and has experience with charter school development and implementation, officials said.
At Rowland Unified, Frutos, in his role as deputy superintendent of administrative services, has been in charge of finance, accounting, risk management, facilities, maintenance and operations, technology, police services, and food services.
He sped up the district’s Measure R school modernization and new construction program to save money and helped get the $158 million Measure R 2012 bond passed, according to the district.
Frutos minored in computer engineering at the University of California, San Diego, and has a bachelor’s of science in psychology (statistical analysis) from San Diego State University. He served 43 school districts while working as a business advisory services analyst for the San Diego County Office of Education.
He also has a master’s in public administration, with an emphasis in public finance, from San Diego State.
The Rowland Unified School District serves 16,000 students at 20 elementary and secondary schools in Rowland Heights, Walnut, City of Industry, and West Covina.
For more information about Rowland Unified, call 626-965-2541 or visit www.RowlandSchools.org.