VUSD hosts retirement reception for interim superintendent

The community has a chance to say goodbye to VUSD Interim Superintendent Doug Cardoza who is retiring this year after a 32 year run with the district at a retirement reception hosted by the district

VISALIA – After serving Visalia Unified for 32 years, the district is hosting a retirement reception for interim superintendent Doug Cardoza next week.

On June 7, Doug Cardoza’s retirement reception will begin at 3:30 p.m. and conclude at 5 p.m. in the VUSD boardroom at 5000 W. Cypress Ave. According to Kim Batty, the VUSD public information officer, the event is open to everyone who would like to attend. A short program will begin at 3:30 p.m. and an open house will follow. 

“Visalia Unified School District congratulates Mr. Cardoza on his upcoming retirement,” Batty said. “His contributions and commitment to students, staff and the community will be greatly missed by all. He has been a great leader, mentor and friend to many within the Visalia Unified community.”

VUSD board of trustees unanimously appointed Cardoza to the position of interim superintendent in June of 2021 according to a previous article written by The Sun-Gazette. Cardoza began his journey as interim superintendent on Sept. 1, while the district searched for a full time position, ultimately hiring Kirk Shurm. 

Cardoza has been in public education for over 33 years, 32 years with VUSD. Before accepting the interim superintendent position, he was serving as the assistant superintendent of VUSD Educational Services. Cardoza has filled several roles in the district throughout his years with Visalia. He also served as administrator of special education, director of human resources development, elementary principal, secondary assistant principal and science teacher. 

Originally on a path to become a veterinarian, Cardoza earned a bachelor’s degree in biology. He then moved on to obtain a master’s degree in education. Cardoza possesses a single subject teaching credential in biology/life science and chemistry as well as a clear administrative services credential. 

Cardoza said he was honored to have the opportunity to speak at this year’s graduation ceremonies for the first time. He offered advice to the graduates from personal experience and explained bits of his journey to higher education. Cardoza said he didn’t think he could afford to go to college and he said he lacked the confidence to get there. All of that changed when one person showed him an alternative, he packed up and moved to the midwest to get his degree. 

Cardoza’s main points to the students is to believe in themselves, have the awareness of the impact they can have on others lives and move ahead with confidence, “remember that you also have the power to impact the lives of others and ultimately affect positive change in the world we live in,” Cardoza said. “So, take what you have learned, continue to grow and seize the opportunities to positively change your life and the world around you. “

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