- Lake County Office of Education
ACSA Superintendent Award
(Lake County, Calif.) April 2, 2021 - Dr. Giovanni Annous, Superintendent of Upper Lake Unified School District (ULUSD), was recently honored as the “Superintendent of the Year” for the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) Region 4.
ACSA Region 4 represents School Administrators from Lake, Mendocino, Sonoma, Napa, Solano and Marin counties. There are nearly 100 public school districts in the region, educating over 200,000 students.
“It was a sobering moment when I learned I received the honor of being named Region 4 Superintendent of the Year,” said Annous. “It is a great honor to be placed in such distinguished ranks as those of the past honorees.”
Tenderly Logan, Director of Pupil Personnel Services at ULUSD, submitted the nomination on behalf of the administrative team and governing board members.
“Students first! This is the philosophy that Dr. Annous lives and breathes,” said Logan. “Everything he does in the district and community is all about engaging and uplifting the lives of students.”
Annous has achieved much for ULUSD in his 4-year tenure, including facility upgrades, improving school climate, and opening a Wellness Center for ULUSD families.
The Wellness Center provides food, clothes, shower facilities, laundry facilities and a wellness check room. It has become a haven for many ULUSD families, particularly those who need additional supports so their children can attend school with clean clothes, clean bodies, and a full stomach.
The facility projects include the construction of shade structures, expansion of the solar panel field, and planning of the construction of new facilities at the elementary and high schools.
The increase in positive school climate at ULUSD can be attributed to Annous’s consistent collaboration with his students, teachers, families and the community at large.
“The relationships he cultivates are professional and productive,” said Diane Plante, Board of Trustees, ULUSD.
But it is the pandemic that has highlighted Annous’ strength in leadership.
“If I had to choose one significant contribution to education this year, it was making the decision to keep Upper Lake Unified School District open to in-person instruction,” said Annous.
Upper Lake Unified School District successfully opened to hybrid instruction which included in-person and distance learning in August 2020. It remains open utilizing the hybrid model to this day.
At the beginning of the pandemic, the district spent $300,000 upgrading their technology. Each ULUSD student received a computer and students were given internet connectivity based on need to give them the tools to successfully take part in distance learning. Food delivery for ULUSD students continued from the beginning of the shut down through December. The constant search for personal protective equipment (PPE) began.
“Dr. Annous doesn’t just sit back with his teams and plan, he gets in and gets his hands dirty,” his administrative team wrote in his nomination letter.
This was more than evident this past summer. Annous drove hundreds of miles to pick up scarce building materials. He then spent weekends and evenings building plexiglass separators for all his teachers, students and staff.
“The district became a poster child for how schools should successfully operate in a pandemic and achieve their goals of teaching the students,” Annous said.
Annous regularly shares the credit for the success of ULUSD.
“This decision [to open] was not mine alone,” Annous said. “I commend and praise our leadership team, our amazing staff, and our ULUSD parents for their commitment to our students and the community.”
The ULUSD staff returned the appreciation for their Superintendent in the nomination letter.
“Dr. Annous is the epitome of a supportive, loving, giving, intelligent, visionary leader,” says the ULUSD Administrative Team. “There are only better things on the horizon with Dr. Annous at the helm.”