José L. Banda is former superintendent of the Sacramento City Unified School District, one of California’s oldest public school districts – established in 1854 – that serves 43,000 students on 75 campuses near the state Capitol. Mr. Banda has served students and families as a teacher, counselor, assistant principal, principal and administrator. Mr. Banda was elected to the Salida School District Board where he served as a trustee for 8 years including two years as President.Throughout his career, he has focused on equity, access and opportunity and ensuring that every student graduates ready for college and careers. He is known as a collaborative leader, "I don’t go out and make headlines. I build relationships.”
Before Sacramento City, Mr. Banda served as Superintendent of Seattle Public Schools, Washington state’s largest K-12 district. Under his leadership, the district created a new five-year strategic plan titled “Every Student. Every Classroom. Every Day.” The plan was developed with extensive community engagement, including a 70-person task force.
Prior to Seattle, Mr. Banda spent four years as Superintendent of the 20,000-student Anaheim City School District. Under Mr. Banda’s direction, the District created a focused approach to instruction, assessment and interventions, while at the same time maintained fiscal solvency during one of the worst economic crises in California’s history.
The son of migrant workers, Mr. Banda was born in Texas and grew up near Bakersfield. He is fluent in Spanish and holds a Bachelor of Arts from California State University, Bakersfield, and a Master’s in Educational Leadership from Chapman University.