Ed.D. in Educational Administration, 2000
School of Education
October 1, 2008
UCI/UCLA Ed. D. Graduate Susan Belenardo Serves as Superintendent of La Habra City School District and Teaches in UC Irvine’s Administrative Services Credential Program
Susan Belenardo Ed.D. was appointed Superintendent of the La Habra City School District as of July 1st. Prior to this appointment, Susan served as the Assistant Superintendent responsible for Curriculum and Staff Development, Student Services, and Personnel. She is also an instructor in the UCI Administrative Services Credential Program.
A passion for making a difference brought Susan into the field of Education from the private sector. She began her career in education as a classroom teacher and went on to obtain additional certification and experience as a Reading Specialist and Special Education teacher. Looking to make a difference for more students brought Susan to the position of Middle School Assistant Principal, Principal, and Administrative Director of Special Programs prior to her current work in La Habra.
A member of the first cohort group admitted to the then UCI-UCLA Ed.D. program, Susan’s dissertation focused on investigating the relationship between Middle School programs to involve families and the prevailing sense of community. Her research identified the characteristics of a school’s family involvement program that have the greatest effect on a school’s sense of community as well as the relationship between a principal’s leadership skills and the sense of community experienced by teachers and parents.
As Superintendent in La Habra, a District that embodies the true meaning of a sense of community, Susan is dedicated to improve the education program for all students particularly for students from diverse backgrounds. She strives to impact students’ academic achievement and firmly believes that all students can achieve if provided the instruction and support that meets their needs. Her leadership style emphasizes building collaborative teams to facilitate school and district wide reforms. To support a climate of continuous improvement, site administrators, school leadership teams, and central office administrators participate in on-going training and coaching targeting their development as instructional leaders. Parents are integral members in the educational program and are invited to monthly meetings with the Superintendent.
Susan also extends her participation into the greater local and educational community. She most recently completed her term as the President of the La Habra Rotary. As an active member of the Association of California School Administrators, Susan has worked in the legislative area and most recently served a three year term as a member of the State Board of Directors.
Susan’s commitment to herself and others is to leave the world a better place than when she arrived.