The Lynwood Unified School District Board of Education voted unanimously on May 23 to appoint Deputy Superintendent Dr. Gudiel Crosthwaite as the new Superintendent of Schools, effective June 1.
Crosthwaite, who succeeds four-year Superintendent Paul Gothold, has spent his 21-year career in education teaching, mentoring and removing barriers to student success. His collaborative work and leadership have been instrumental in Lynwood Unified’s extraordinary gains in student achievement over the last seven years, including rising graduation rates and increasing participation and success in Advanced Placement (AP) coursework.
“Seeing the tremendous growth of our students and the complete transformation of our school district over the past several years has been without a doubt one of the most rewarding experiences of my career,” Crosthwaite said. “I am humbled that the Board and this community has entrusted their faith in me to continue working collaboratively with our students, staff, educators, families and community to further our mission to prepare every student for success.”
After graduating from UCLA, Crosthwaite taught middle school English, English language development, and social studies. He returned to school to pursue a master’s degree at Harvard University Graduate School of Education and became the executive director of a nonprofit organization that provided educational support to students in need.
In 2010, Crosthwaite became Lynwood Unified’s director of elementary reform, supervising all K-8 school operations. He was promoted to deputy superintendent of educational services in 2013, monitoring and supervising student achievement, staff development, facility issues, data analysis, budget development and community partnerships.
Crosthwaite was instrumental in helping to develop a new strategic plan for the District, dismantling student tracking typically required for entrance into honors or AP courses, and raising student achievement to garner the highest API gains in the state two years in a row for a K-12 urban district with more than 7,000 students. Crosthwaite’s leadership has placed Lynwood Unified’s graduation rates on a consistent positive trajectory. Since 2010-11, Lynwood High has climbed 25.3 percentage points, and Firebaugh High has risen by 23.9 percentage points.
The District was named a 2017 AP District of the Year by the College Board for expanding access to AP courses while simultaneously improving AP exam performance. Lynwood Unified was one of only three Districts in the nation – and only one in California – to receive this distinction.