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Bowes Named as New Manhattan Beach Superintendent

Jun 29, 2021 10:40AM ● By Jeanne Fratello

The Manhattan Beach Unified School District has named John Bowes as its new superintendent. Bowes comes to MBUSD from the Davis Joint Unified School District in northern California.

The Manhattan Beach Unified School District released the following statement on Tuesday: 

The Manhattan Beach Unified School District (MBUSD) Board of Trustees is pleased to announce the pending selection of distinguished educator Dr. John Bowes as the new superintendent contingent upon successful contract negotiations and final board approval on July 7, 2021.

Dr. Bowes earned his Ed.D. from UCLA and his B.S. degrees in finance and management from Virginia Tech. His career in education spans more than three decades as a teacher, principal, director, and assistant superintendent.

Since 2016, he has served as superintendent in the Davis Joint Unified School District (DJUSD) and under his leadership in Davis, an array of strategic initiatives have been developed including: outstanding career academies; an award-winning special education inclusion model; renowned theater arts and music programs; an in-house teacher credentialing program; and the passage of two parcel taxes in addition to a bond that supports high quality teaching and learning facilities across the district. In 2019, Dr. Bowes was named one of the Top 300 Civic Leaders in the Sacramento region for his influential leadership and future-focused work in education.

Prior to leading the Davis team, Dr. Bowes served as Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources in neighboring Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District. Prior to this role, he spent seven years as Director of Labor Relations in Los Angeles Unified School District and five years as a principal in the San Fernando Valley. As both a strong communicator and Spanish speaker, Dr. Bowes fosters a deep sense of inclusivity and brings incredible insight to the role.
His ability to listen and unite people are trademarks of his leadership style that will elevate MBUSD’s mission to prepare students for the challenges of a rapidly changing, highly complex global society.

“Based on Dr. Bowes’ unrivaled track record, it was abundantly clear to the Board that he is the perfect person to lead MBUSD into the future,” noted MBUSD Board President Jen Fenton. “His reputation as both a problem solver and collaborator, as well as his ties to the South Bay, assures that our district will remain at the forefront of excellence. I have no doubt that Dr. Bowes will be embraced by our students, our employees, our parents, and the greater Manhattan Beach community.”

The Board would like to extend its appreciation to Dr. Bowes and each of the applicants who demonstrated an interest in the position. Trustees also express their gratitude to MBUSD employees, parents, students, and community members who provided invaluable input throughout this process.

“As we prepare for the opportunities and post-COVID hurdles our district will be facing,” shared President Fenton, “the journey is bright with Dr. Bowes at the helm.”

Dr. Mike Matthews will continue to serve as Manhattan Beach’s interim superintendent until Dr. Bowes’ first day in the office, August 9, 2021. In the ensuing weeks, Dr. Matthews will work closely with Dr. Bowes to ensure a seamless transition for all involved.

Looking ahead, Dr. Bowes shared, “I am excited to serve this exceptional community and destination school district. I look forward to partnering with the Board, staff, students, and families as we develop our vision and roadmap for an extraordinary future together.”

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