Board Announces Key Leadership Appointments

Board Announces Key Leadership Appointments
Posted on 08/07/2020
Dr. Marcus Funchess

The San Bernardino City Unified School District (SBCUSD) Board of Education promoted two longtime, highly qualified administrators to key executive positions during its meeting on Tuesday, August 4.

Dr. Sandra Rodriguez, a passionate advocate for providing high-quality education for all students, is the new assistant superintendent of Student Services. The division oversees a variety of programs aimed at student support and enrichment, including the Family Engagement Office and CAPS. Dr. Marcus Funchess, a former elementary school principal and Human Resources director in SBCUSD, was promoted to assistant superintendent of Human Resources. The Human Resources Division oversees the hiring and development of District employees.

Dr.  Rodriguez is attuned to the needs of the community. She is a San Bernardino resident and a 1990 graduate of Cajon High School. She has devoted her entire educational career to serving the students of San Bernardino and Highland. She has worked for SBCUSD for more than 20 years, dedicating her career to ensuring each child graduates from high school ready for college and career. While pursuing that goal, she has worked in varying roles in education, including as a classified employee, a high school Special Education teacher, and an assistant principal. She was the principal of San Bernardino High School from 2006 to 2015. Most recently, Dr. Rodriguez served as the director of Employee Relations, where she was responsible for ensuring good communication among different employee groups and maintaining effective labor relations.

Dr. Rodriguez earned her doctorate in Educational Leadership from Azusa Pacific University. Her passion for student advocacy, diversity, and academic progress drives everything that she does.

“I believe that when teachers and staff know every student in their school by name and need, we can tailor their educational experience to bring out the best in them,” Dr. Rodriguez said of her philosophy of fostering student success.

As assistant superintendent of Human Resources, Dr. Funchess will guide the hiring of the region’s best teachers and support personnel. With more than 8,000 teaching and non-teaching employees, SBCUSD is one of the largest employers in San Bernardino County and the ninth-largest school district in California.

In 2014, Funchess earned his doctorate in Leadership for Educational Justice from the University of Redlands. In 2016, he joined SBCUSD’s Human Resources Division where he has managed day-to-day operations and been involved in hiring more than 200 teachers and other certificated employees to make sure schools are fully staffed. Dr. Funchess collaboratively developed the Aspiring Administrator program to grow and develop aspiring SBCUSD leaders from within the District’s own ranks. His focus on creating opportunities for advancement within SBCUSD doesn’t just include current employees. Dr. Funchess developed the Golden Bell Award-winning Grow Our Own initiative to educate and hire the next generation of educators from within the community. Current SBCUSD students who are interested in careers in education are encouraged to pursue their dreams with support from the District, even after leaving high school, and return to SBCUSD to share their knowledge and experience.

“My goal is to build an empowered workforce for the San Bernardino City Unified community,” Dr. Funchess said.

Prior to his role with Human Resources, Dr. Funchess served as the principal at Henry and Thompson Elementary Schools and was an elementary school teacher.

Funchess and Rodriguez are a testament to the quality of leadership within the District, said Interim Superintendent Dr. Harold J. Vollkommer.

“Sandra and Marcus are proven leaders with extensive experience serving all levels of our school system,” Vollkommer said. “Both have a successful track record of implementing meaningful programs, with results that were evident across our school district. We look forward to introducing them to stakeholders in the coming weeks.”

The District also announced the promotion of SBCUSD graduate Dorie Stratton, who was promoted to principal of San Andreas High School. She has worked for the District for 18 years, most recently as assistant principal at San Andreas since 2017. The award-winning alternative high school serves students who are deficient in credits necessary to graduate. 


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