CITY OF INDUSTRY — Dr. Barbara Nakaoka, superintendent of the Hacienda La Puente Unified School District, retired on July 1 after 42 years with the district.

Barbara Nakaoka

“It was an extremely  difficult decision to make,” said Nakaoka. “But after so many years, you know when it is time to leave.”

Nakaoka served as the assistant superintendent and the district’s chief academic officer before taking over as superintendent in 2006. Since then, she has helped the district improve its academic standing, with the district Academic Performance Index (API) exceeding 800 points.

“[Nakaoka] is a visionary. Instead of following the fad, she has utilized researched-based programs to directly improve district stability and bring our district API to a record high,” said Principal Elena Paul. “She is truly a unique individual.”

Nakaoka plans on continuing her involvement in the district as well as starting her own foundation that will focus on science and technology. The district is in the process of recruiting a new superintendent, who will be selected by the Board of Education.

Located in the City of Industry, Hacienda La Puente Unified School District serves over 20,000 students, kindergarten through high school, as well as many thousands of adults through an extensive adult education program.

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