The end of June will conclude eight years of service to the Riverbank Unified School District (RUSD) for Superintendent Dr. Daryl Camp. He has turned in his resignation to begin a new chapter with the San Lorenzo Unified School District as the superintendent there. After San Lorenzo conducted a search with 26 highly qualified candidates, the Board of Education unanimously approved the hiring of Dr. Camp, with his new position effective July 1. The Riverbank school board has plans to recruit an interim superintendent with hopes to have a permanent Superintendent for the start of the new school year.
Prior to his position as a superintendent for RUSD, Camp – known around school campuses for his signature bowtie – worked as a principal for Lodi Unified School District, making his superintendent experience a first in Riverbank.
“I didn’t know much about Riverbank,” said Camp when he first arrived. “I was a newcomer to the community. It was my first central office position. The high school principal job was pretty comprehensive. You get a pretty good taste of running an environment.
“I was fortunate when I got hired as interim superintendent I had some great role models and support and a very supportive board as well. I had a lot of resources at my disposal to help me out with learning the superintendent job. I love the superintendent position. You really get to see how all those parts connect as a superintendent.
Recalling some of the struggles within the district when he began with several of the central office administrative team leaving, Camp had to build a whole new team. A team that he feels really good about that is still assembled. He also feels good about the governance team that is in place.
“Over the course of the last seven years I am going to say that is going to be the strength of the district,” added Camp about the current administration and board. “We have invested in that team and I think it has paid dividends. The group is very functional. I am proud of them. They got selected as one of the boards of the year by the Association of California School Administrators so this board of education will be honored in May at the Region Conference. I am excited about them.”
With many accolades like the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) Valuing Diversity award for his work in Region VII, Camp is also proud of the accomplishments he made while serving RUSD like improving the fiscal condition of the district. Help from management and local circumstances changing were factors that assisted the turn of the fiscal state. RUSD currently has a healthy budget.
Extending a variety of opportunities for students was important for Camp as well, including expanding the music programs for students in the district and the Riverbank Academy of Multilingual Education (RAME) program.
“The number of students that are participating in music has expanded exponentially at all levels,” added Camp about the music program. “We started investing in elementary music education and now you are seeing a ripple effect that is leading to a larger group of students involved with instruments at CMS and a larger group at RHS.”
The RAME program educates students in multiple languages including Spanish, English and Mandarin that has been in operation for about four years.
Exposing students to college and beyond has been priority for Camp and other staff offering a guaranteed college experience for sixth graders at Cardozo Middle School (CMS) for the past five years.
“We have expanded AVID,” added Camp. “AVID stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination. We have programs at CMS, RHS with just more opportunities for students to get exposed to different careers and different colleges and we provide a structured approach for students to be able to prepare themselves for those opportunities after they leave RHS. That has been exciting to see as well.”
The opening of the Parent Networking Center to get parents involved with their students’ education and hosting the third annual parent summit at the high school are other high points.
During his time as superintendent, Camp was able to see the new science building at CMS be put to good use as well as the all-weather track that has hosted several tournaments.
“I am excited about Measure G that passed in November,” expressed Camp. “I won’t get to see all the buildings finished but at least it will provide the revenue stream that is really going to help modernize our schools, replace some things, and repair some things that were outdated. I am really proud of our community for doing that for our schools. It was a very positive vote and shows the community supports us.”
One of his favorite memories about his time spent in Riverbank was watching students participate in activities like plays, music performances, and sporting events. He recalls watching alumni Rolaun Dunham play basketball for Stanislaus State, Olivia Luu excelling athletically furthering her education, and a student that hit the stage as a lead in a production at Modesto Junior College where she is a freshman.
Camp recalled accomplishments from staff like Dave Howard at CMS honored as a teacher of the year candidate for Stanislaus County, Karen Young who was recognized and honored as a teacher of the year candidate for Stanislaus County, Board of Trustees member Elizabeth Meza who was selected as Board Member of the year a few years ago and most recently Cheryl Galvin, a school bus driver that was honored.
Although Camp will be pursuing a new chapter with the San Lorenzo School District in the Bay area that has 10,500 students including four high schools, three middle schools, nine elementary schools, a couple charter schools and an adult school, he said he loved serving RUSD and being a part of the community.
“I am excited about a new challenge,” stated Camp. “I love so many parts about serving the Riverbank community. I am just extremely thankful more than anything. Thankful for the people that I have had a chance to work with and for the last eight years; it has been a highlight in my professional career. I will forever remember this place and how special Riverbank is.”