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Dr. David Vannasdall

Arcadia Unified School District

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My Story

Dr. David Vannasdall has been Superintendent of the Arcadia Unified School District since July of 2014. He has proudly served the Arcadia community for more than a decade. Dr. Vannasdall first came to Arcadia in 2005 when he was named the Principal of Arcadia High School. Succeeding his seven years at the helm of the Apaches, he was promoted to Deputy Superintendent, Education Programs and Services in 2012. Before joining AUSD, Dr. Vannasdall was a principal in Ohio, and also served as an Assistant Principal, School Counselor, and Teacher.

Dr. Vannasdall is one of the foremost innovative Superintendents in the country, and has helped transform the Arcadia Unified School District into one of the most forward-thinking and successful school districts in the United States. The graduation rate for Arcadia High School is typically 99% or higher, with students matriculating to the most prestigious universities each year, including Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, MIT, and USC to name a few. In 2016 and 2017, Arcadia High graduates were accepted into every Ivy League School in the country. Dr. Vannasdall was critical in helping pass a $216 million facilities improvement bond, and a $77 million parcel tax for AUSD. He led a successful 1:1 technology device rollout program for the district’s nearly 10,000 students who attend its eleven schools. Dr. Vannasdall also helped launch AUSD’s annual Arcadia Innovation Summit, which has become one of the leading professional development conferences for educators in California. In 2017, with a District culture of innovation and collaboration well established, Arcadia Unified was one of the first school districts in the country to establish a partnership with Altschool, the foremost experts on personalization in the world.

With his student-first approach to leadership, Dr. Vannasdall is a dedicated advocate for children who ensures all students are provided with an optimal learning environment. This was highlighted on national television when he was interviewed by Diane Sawyer for an hour-long special on ABC 20/20

After earning his Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Social Studies from the University of Kentucky, Dr. Vannasdall later earned two Master of Arts Degrees, one in School Counseling from Xavier University, and one in Education Administration from the University of Cincinnati. He earned his Educational Doctorate Degree in Educational Leadership from Azusa Pacific University in 2016.

A proud father of five, and the family dog, Dr. Vannasdall is married to Jessica who shares his passion for education as a Technology Coach and Teacher.  

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Past Experience

My job is about people. I value people and want them to achieve their potential. My tools are honesty, pressure, support, and compassion. Knowing when to use the right tool is the art of leadership. I sometimes push from behind and sometimes pull from the front, but always with the goal to get out of the way. People achieve more together and want to belong. Focusing all resources on student achievement makes the difference.

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Superintendent, Arcadia Unified School District

July 2014 - Present

The Arcadia Unified School District is a nationally renowned public school district that proudly educates nearly 10,000 students throughout 11 award-winning schools. Nestled in the San Gabriel Valley in Southern California, all schools are located in Arcadia, California. Business Week named Arcadia as the “best place to raise your kids” in the entire state of California on two separate occasions. The District consists of 11 schools: six elementary schools, three middle schools, one high school, and one alternative school and outreach program. In addition to numerous National Blue Ribbon and California Distinguished schools throughout the district, Arcadia High School has been named a U.S. News and World Report Gold Medal School three times, named to Newsweek’s Top Public High Schools in America list, and ranked among the top two percent of high schools in California according to Niche. 2017 marked the second straight year that Arcadia High’s graduating class had at least one student accepted into every Ivy League University in the country. The District is committed to educational excellence, and this commitment is reflected in the outstanding achievements made by its students, faculty, staff, and leadership each school year.

Deputy Superintendent, Arcadia Unified School District

July 2012 - 2014

As one of the most innovative school districts in the country, Arcadia Unified’s goal is to champion students and staff to Imagine, Inquire, and Inspire. The purpose of the District is to challenge and inspire students to make a positive and profound impact on their world.

Principal, Arcadia High School

July, 2005 - 2012

Arcadia High School is the one and only comprehensive public 9-12 high school serving approximately 3,800 students in the Arcadia Unified School District. Our campus is located in the heart of Arcadia, California at the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. AHS has a rigorous curriculum and high expectations of faculty and students. Although the students score very high on all local, state, and national tests, the faculty and administration recognize that students must compete against the most challenging international standards. As a result,they continue to improve and refine curriculum and instructional approaches.

Principal, Oak Hills High School

July 2001 - 2005

Oak Hills High School, founded in 1954, is the second largest and one of the most academically reputable public high schools in the state of Ohio. The school sits on a 35-acre campus in Bridgetown, a residential suburb located west of Cincinnati. The district is comprised of five elementary schools, three middle schools, and one high school. Enrollment in the district for the 2016-2017 school year is approximately 7542 students.

House Principal, Oak Hills High School

July 2000 - 2001

Oak Hills High School, founded in 1954, is the second largest and one of the most academically reputable public high schools in the state of Ohio. The school sits on a 35-acre campus in Bridgetown, a residential suburb located west of Cincinnati. The district is comprised of five elementary schools, three middle schools, and one high school. Enrollment in the district for the 2016-2017 school year is approximately 7542 students.

Counselor, Delhi Middle School

July 1998 - 2000

Delhi Middle School (formerly Delhi Junior High School and Delhi Rural School) is one of three middle schools in Oak Hills Local School District and is proud to have been educating students of Delhi Township since 1926!  The school serves nearly 600 students in grades six, seven and eight.  43 faculty members and 20 support staff work diligently to provide the Delhi students a rigorous and supportive academic environment and a plethora of co-curricular and extracurricular opportunities.

Counselor, Scott High School

July 1995 - 1998

Scott High School is located at 5400 Old Taylor Mill Road in Taylor Mill, Kentucky. The school is one of three high schools operated by the Kenton County School District. It opened for classes in 1978, where it originally featured an open classroom design. Scott High School sits on a 78-acre (320,000 m2) campus that is shared with Woodland Middle School which was built in 1988. The campus includes a football field, softball and baseball fields, lighted soccer field, tennis courts and is the only high school in Kenton County with an indoor pool. Scott now has a new wing addition with additional rooms, bigger lockers, smart classrooms, etc. that finished in the summer of 2014. Scott has approximately 1100 students and 65 faculty members. 

Teacher, Woodland Middle School

July 1992 - 1995

I was very fortunate to begin my teaching career in a nationally recognized model middle school. I taught on a team of five teachers and we created our own schedule, discipline plan and professional development through daily collaboration time.
The mission of Woodland Middle School is to focus on the strengths, talents, and abilities of each student, while recognizing that our students are in transition from childhood to adolescence.  Woodland is dedicated to a learning environment that fosters academic, emotional, and social growth.  Woodland also provides opportunities for students to explore their role in society, and encourages lifelong participation in their community.

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Educational History

“The beautiful thing about education is that no one can take it away from you.”

― B.B. King

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City, Service and Nonprofit Positions

Ed.D. Educational Leadership, Azusa Pacific University,

August 2011 - 2016

M.Ed Educational Leadership, University of Cincinnati

August 1999 - 2001

M.Ed School and Agency Counseling, Xavier University

August 1993 - 1995

B.A. Secondary Social Studies, University of Kentucky

August 1987 - 1991

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Board Member, Arcadia Chamber of Commerce

July 2014 - Present

President, Foothills Education and Technology Partnership

July 2017 - Present

Member, Arcadia Rotary International

July 2007 - Present

Executive Board Member, Arcadia Performing Arts Foundation

July  2014 - Present



"Every child deserves a champion; an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists that they become the best they can possibly be."
rita f. pierson: every kid needs a champion | may 2013

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"Believe you can and you're halfway there"

Theodore Roosevelt

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