FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Oliver T. Unaka, PIO March 17, 2022 telephone: (909)397-4480 oliver.unaka@pusd.org # # # POMONA UNIFIED SCHOOL BOARD APPOINTS NEW INTERIM SUPERINTENDENT AND DEPUTY Retirement of Richard L. Martinez, PUSD’s Second-Longest Tenured Superintendent, Creates Path for Deputy Superintendent Darren Knowles and Assistant Superintendent Lilia Fuentes to Elevate Ranks. POMONA, CA – Upon notice of retirement from Superintendent Martinez, Pomona Unified School District’s Board of Trustees conducted a process to identify viable candidates to fill the large shoes of its outgoing superintendent. Since the pandemic, well-qualified and motivated employees have become the target of strong recruitment efforts by competing employers and school districts. The skills and experience of both Deputy Superintendent Darren Knowles and Assistant Superintendent Lilia Fuentes compared favorably with current applicant pools, and their innovative and responsive leadership styles proved most favorable to PUSD’s Board of Education. Effective July 1, 2022 Darren Allen Knowles and Lilia Fuentes will assume their new respective roles as Interim Superintendent and Deputy Superintendent. “It gives me great pleasure to witness one of our core values, Talent Development, illustrated at the highest levels of our district with two of the most deserving individuals within our system,” says outgoing Superintendent Richard Martinez. “It became very clear to our Board that Darren Knowles and Lilia Fuentes were two exceptional and well-regarded candidates who share values that focus on the whole child, student achievement, and stakeholder engagement.” Since November 17, 2009, Richard Martinez has served as the ubiquitous face, voice and heart of Pomona Unified School District. Supporting his monumental role as Secretary to the Board of Education and Superintendent of the school district is a cast of Executive Cabinet Members. Darren Knowles, who served as the most senior Cabinet Member, has aided the superintendent in celebrating countless highs and weathering many lows over the course of nearly thirteen years. Knowles is a home-grown talent who is well-received by the very community he taught in and has served consecutively for 25 years. Most noteworthy is how effective Pomona has been is identifying talent from within its own ranks, promoting, and then grooming individuals for greatness within the greater LA County, and even national, educational arenas. Pomona has had many years of great school district leadership, including a smooth transition from Thelma Melendez to Richard Martinez – who also was an internal candidate. “I couldn’t be more proud of Darren and Lilia’s assent as their exemplary leadership styles helped them forge paths toward the highest seats within our district,” said PUSD Board President Dr. Roberta Perlman. “I am confident that the pair will continue addressing health, safety, and educational matters that are of grave importance to the students and families of Pomona and Diamond Bar.”