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Casillas replacing Jaime Aquino as interim Deputy of Instruction

Vanessa Romo | March 28, 2014

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John Deasy and Maria Casillas

John Deasy and Maria Casillas

Former head of School, Parent and Family/Community Services, Maria Casillas, is coming out of retirement on Tuesday to serve as LA Unified’s interim Deputy Superintendent of Instruction, a post left vacant by the sudden resignation of Jaime Aquino last year.

Casillas, who resigned from the district last June as Chief School and Family/Community Services, was appointed by Superintendent John Deasy last week. It is unclear if he consulted the school board on his choice.  An interim appointment does not require a vote by the board.

“I’ll just be assisting Deasy in making sure that the major initiatives that are already on the agenda get through by the end of this fiscal year,” Casillas told LA School Report.

She doesn’t plan to hold the position for very long — just a couple of months — and will be working “somewhat part-time,” she said.

“There’s nothing that I’m going to be able to start or complete,” she said. “I’m very aware that I’m pinch-hitting. I’m not there to review and say, ‘Oh, I have a better idea.’ ”

Casillas said she has yet to outline top priorities with Deasy, but expects to tackle the continued implementation of Common Core standards, overseeing the district’s first round of [Smarter Balanced] testing and carrying out the next phase of the iPad program.

Another major initiative, and the one she seems most enthusiastic about, is working on the English Learner Master Plan, the 2012 overhaul of the district’s academic curriculum to move English learners into mainstream classes.

“That is just a huge, major initiative that got underway,” she said.

Casillas said Deasy is “interested in bringing on someone of a very high caliber to replace Aquino. (Interested? Click here.)

“And it’s not that I’m not high caliber,” she insisted. “It’s that I’m retired.”

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