Dr. Kropp named OC Superintendent of the Year

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Team members and Los Al Unified Board Members surprise Dr. Sherry Kropp this week when they learned she had been selected as “Superintendent of the Year” for Orange County. Courtesy photo

Driven by a vision to “ignite unlimited possibilities” for every student within the system, Dr. Sherry Kropp, Supt. of the Los Alamitos Unified School District, has been chosen the Orange County Superintendent of the Year.

“I am very gratified,” said Kropp, adding that she “feels really privileged to serve and support what our parents and students want from our school system.”

Dr. Sherry Kropp acknowledged the honor by saying her work requires a team effort. “No one person can do this work,” she emphasized. “We have an amazing team and a very committed board of education.”

The Association of California School Administrators this week announced their decision to honor Kropp said the official recognition ceremony will be held May 7.

According to Kropp, for a school system to excel, “you must truly believe in the potential of every young person in the system.” Moreover, to best serve them, “you have to be very responsive to and interact with parents and students.”

Notably, the Los Al Unified School District operates under a “one team, one vision” theme, along with an administrative process aimed at “igniting unlimited possibilities” for students.

The superintendent is a visible presence in the district. Her staff jokes “she is everywhere.” Kropp has obviously learned the value of feedback. Kropp lists her personal cell phone number on all communications to parents and happily speaks to most who call.

“To best serve and support what our parents and students want from our system,” she says, “you have to listen.” She listens well and instructs her team to do the same. And, she says, the listening pays dividends. As an example, the district recently installed a new, advanced computer robotics program which resulted directly from parental input.

Kropp says her “amazing” team is “committed and talented.” Together, they believe in the future potential of their students. The superintendent is fiercely and firmly driven to make every student believe they have an “amazing future” with “unlimited possibilities ahead.”

The ACSA announcement also drew praise from the Los Al Unified Board of Education. “Providing the best possible educational experiences for all students” is the driving force behind Dr. Kropp’s exceptional leadership,” said Los Al Unified Board President Dr. Jeffrey Barke.

“Sherry believes in our vision, is courageous, and supports our excellent staff who provide robust programs in academics, athletics, activities and the arts.”

According to Barke, “there is no fiercer advocate and champion for students than Dr. Kropp. She understands the incredible impact one caring adult can have on a student and loves it when adults ‘let their eyes light up’ when they see and interact with young people.  She leads with a heart for children and inspires others to believe in unlimited possibilities as we help develop caring, capable, and competent students.  She dreams big and wants students to dream big, too.”

Kropp has been serving in Los Alamitos Unified School District since 1985 and has been the Superintendent for seven years.  Prior to being named the Superintendent, she was a teacher, assistant principal, and interim principal at Los Alamitos High School, a principal at Laurel Continuation High School, and a Director and Assistant Superintendent at the District office.  Sherry considers it a privilege to work in Los Alamitos Unified, where staff, families, and community members join together to nurture, cherish, and support the success of young people.

Kropp has become known for innovation during her years in the LAUSD and has led the district to a number of significant accomplishments, said Barke. “As Dr. Kropp fondly says, ‘Los Al is a great place to live, work, and go to school.’  On behalf of the Board of Education, please join me in congratulating Dr. Sherry Kropp on this prestigious honor,” he said.

Kropp has served in a variety of capacities for several non-profit organizations and currently serves as a Board Member for the Los Alamitos/Seal Beach Rotary Club and the Los Alamitos Area Chamber of Commerce.  She was selected as the Teacher of the Year twice at a middle school in Washington, Administrator of the Year while the Principal at Laurel, and received the PTA Honorary Service Award twice, as the Assistant Principal at LAHS and as the Superintendent for Los Al.  She has a Bachelor’s degree in English, a Master’s degree in Educational Administration, and a Doctorate degree in Educational Leadership.