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Karen Hendricks Named New Alta Loma School District Superintendent

Longtime educator and administrator Karen Hendricks has been appointed superintendent of schools for the Alta Loma School District and will begin leadership of the district on Feb. 1, 2021.

Hendricks joins ALSD from the Palo Alto Unified School District, where she was the deputy superintendent since 2018. Among her responsibilities, she oversaw the areas of certificated and classified human resources, school safety and emergency preparedness, labor negotiations and Title IX-related compliance issues. She also served as the 12,000-student Palo Alto district’s interim superintendent in 2017-2018.

“The board has the utmost confidence in Karen and we are happy to welcome her to our family,” said ALSD Board President Rebecca Davies. “She brings tremendous experience with 32 years in education, and we look forward to her leadership.”

Hendricks has been a teacher and administrator at the elementary school and high school levels and has held a variety of leadership roles with several school districts. She replaces James Moore, who will retire in January after serving as ALSD superintendent since 2014.

“I couldn’t be more excited to join the Alta Loma School District community, and I am honored to be selected by the Board of Education to carry on the work of an outstanding leader, Superintendent Moore,” Hendricks said. “During this unique time in education, the work we will do together on behalf of each of our learners is a tremendous opportunity. As I prepare to relocate to the district in January, I’m looking forward to meeting the students, staff and parents with whom I’ll be partnering.”

Hendricks began her career in education in 1988 as an elementary school teacher in the Northern California communities of Orcutt and Corralitos before accepting the position of high school summer school principal for the Pajaro Valley Unified School District in Watsonville, California, and later assistant principal at Watsonville High School. She eventually took a principal’s position at an elementary school in Aptos, California.

Hendricks was hired as the coordinator of program evaluation for the Pajaro Valley USD, where she was responsible for testing services, data disaggregation and analysis, and training school administrators and staffs in the use of student data. She later became outreach coordinator and then director of the school leadership development team at the district’s new teacher center, where she coached new elementary and secondary principals and conducted nationwide school administrator trainings.

As assistant superintendent of human resources for Santa Cruz City Schools from 2010-2014, she oversaw more than 700 certified and classified staff.

In 2014 Hendricks joined the Carmel Unified School District as chief human resources officer and then as interim superintendent.

Hendricks is a longtime member of the Association of California School Administrators and was recognized by ACSA as the 2017 recipient of the Region 10 Ken McCombs Awards for her commitment to the education community. 

Hendricks also served on the Personnel, Pension and Investment Committee for the Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital Board of Directors, and she was previously associated with The Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, which promotes personal and professional growth of women educators and excellence in education.  She has presented at educational conferences and has served on review panels for doctoral proposals at San Francisco State University. 

Hendricks earned her M.A. in educational administration at the University of San Francisco.

Hendricks is the proud mother of three daughters, all of whom reside in Southern California.  Tierney, 24, is a graduate of Pepperdine University and works in crisis communication in Los Angeles. Kyrsta and Lyssa, both 21, are seniors at Chapman University and Pepperdine University, respectively.