Press Release
July 19, 2018
July 19, 2018

PRESS RELEASE: Chief Business Officer Announced


Contact:         Karen Hendricks
                        Assistant Superintendent, HR
                        (650) 329-3958

Chief Business Officer Announced

Dr. Novak

Palo Alto Unified School District is pleased to announce the appointment at tonight’s Board Meeting of Dr. James Novak as our incoming Chief Business Officer. Dr. Novak is most recently the Assistant Superintendent Business Services of Desert Sands Unified School District, where he manages a General Fund Budget of approximately $344,000,000 for a student population of close to 29,000 students. During his career in California, he has also served as CBO or Assistant Superintendent for Long Beach Unified, Palm Springs Unified, and South San Francisco Unified School Districts.

He holds a Doctor of Education with a Specialization in Educational Administration and Leadership from Walden University, a Master of Arts in General Education Administration from Central Michigan University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration (Accounting) from Wayne State University. Among many other academic and professional accomplishments, Dr. Novak is a Registered Certified Public Accountant, a member of California Association of School Business Officials (CASBO), and has been a member of CASBO’s Legislative Committee.

Described by colleagues in such terms as “technically impeccable,” a “catalyst for continuous improvement,” and able to “inspire a shared vision,” Dr. Novak is excited to join the Palo Alto Unified School District team and community, an opportunity that he sees as ”extraordinary.”  He looks forward to working with all stakeholders and maintaining a clear and collaborative commitment to students of the District.

Superintendent Dr. Donald Austin states, “We are excited to welcome Dr. Novak to the PAUSD team. His experience at the highest level, ability to communicate effectively, and attention to detail are attributes we value. We are confident that his impact will be immediate and powerful. At this time of transition, we would also like to thank Cathy Mak for her service and dedication to the District and wish her the best in her pending retirement.”

We anticipate his start date to be on or around September 1, 2018.

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