Superintendent Appoints Assistant Superintendent to Lead Three Departments in Newly Created Division
July 5, 2017

Palo Alto Unified School District (PAUSD) has recruited three veteran, experienced, high caliber educational leaders from Sacramento, Southern California, and Virginia to join the school district as of the 2017-18 school year filling some of the most critical positions to help the school district continue its work of providing and improving high quality services to all PAUSD students and their families. PAUSD Superintendent Dr. Glenn “Max” McGee appointed Ms. Yolanda “Lana” Conaway as the Assistant Superintendent of Strategic Initiatives and Operations, Mr. Keith Wheeler as the Equity and Secondary Supports Coordinator, and Mr. Li Ezzell as the Art Coordinator.

Dr. McGee worked with senior leaders of his Cabinet, school principals, and parents and community leaders to interview dozens of candidates. “I am incredibly thankful to the individuals who made the time this spring, including parents and community members, to participate in numerous interview panels as we made sure to hire the very best educators who will help us provide high quality services to our students and their families,” said Dr. McGee. “Our new leaders will play a critical role in helping us engage all students in high quality teaching and learning while assuring equity and access and wellness and safety in our school campuses.”

Name and Current Position

PAUSD Role

Yolanda “Lana” Conaway
Executive Director of Student Services,
Roanoke City Public Schools

Assistant Superintendent of Strategic Initiatives and
Operations

Keith Wheeler
Director of Student Support Services,
Inglewood Unified School District

Equity and Secondary Supports Coordinator,
Division of Elementary Education

Li Ezzell
Visual and Performing Arts Training Specialist,
Sacramento City Unified School District

Art Coordinator,
Division of Secondary Education

Ms. Yolanda “Lana” Conaway, Assistant Superintendent of Strategic Initiatives and Operations
Employment History:
2013-Present     Executive Director of Student Services,
                             Roanoke City Public Schools (Roanoke, VA)
2011-2013          Supervisor of Student Services,
                             Stafford County Public Schools (Stafford, VA)
2008-2011          Assistant Principal,
                             Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools (Williamsburg, VA)
2005-2008          Instructional Specialist,
                             Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools (Williamsburg, VA)
2003-2005          Minority Achievement Coordinator,
                             Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools (Williamsburg, VA)

Prior to her leadership roles, Ms. Conaway served children in Virginia as a special education teacher for close to a decade.

Education:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Psychology/Behavioral Sciences—The College of William and Mary
  • Master’s degree in Cross-Categorical Special Education—The College of William and Mary
  • Master’s degree in K-12 Administration—The College of William and Mary
  • Doctoral degree in Educational Policy, Planning, and Leadership (ABD)—The College of William and Mary

Ms. Conaway will lead the newly-created Division of Strategic Initiatives and Operations, which is composed of the Department of Student Services; the Department of Special Education; the Department of Research, Evaluation, and Assessment; and the Advanced Authentic Research (AAR) program. She will report directly to the Superintendent.

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Mr. Keith Wheeler, Equity and Secondary Supports Coordinator
Employment History:
2014-Present     Director of Student Support Services,
                             Inglewood Unified School District
2011-2014          Principal,
                             High School and Adult Education Program,
                             El Monte Union High School District
2009-2011          Academy Principal and Assistant Principal,
                             Federal Way Public Schools (Federal Way, WA)
2008-2009          Assistant Principal of Curriculum and Instructional Programs,
                             Davis Joint Unified School District
2007-2008          Assistant Principal of Student Support Services and Intervention
                             Kent School District (Kent, WA)

Prior to his leadership roles, Mr. Wheeler served school districts in Washington as a dean and a teacher. In 2004, Seattle Public Schools selected Mr. Wheeler as its Teacher of the Year.

Education:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice—Washington State University
  • Master’s degree in Teaching—Washington State University
  • Master’s degree in Education Leadership—City University of Seattle

Mr. Wheeler will lead the school district’s work with improving the educational opportunities of PAUSD Historically Underrepresented (HUR) students and their families as recommended by the Minority Achievement and Talent Development (MATD) advisory committee, which was created by Superintendent McGee in 2014. As part of the Superintendent’s reorganization of the organizational structure, Mr. Wheeler will report directly to the Chief Academic Officer for Elementary Education.

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Mr. Li Ezzell, Art Coordinator
Employment History:
2016-Present     Visual and Performing Arts Training Specialist,
                             Sacramento City Unified School District
2012-2016          High School Art Teacher,
                             Sacramento City Unified School District
2011-2012          Middle School Science Teacher,
                             San Juan Unified School District
2010-2011          Elementary Art Teacher,
                             San Juan Unified School District

Mr. Ezzell also taught English for five years in Japan.

Education:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Art—Reed College
  • Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction: Integrated Teaching through the Arts—Lesley University

Mr. Ezzell fills the vacancy created due to the retirement of former Art Coordinator Ms. Sharon Ferguson. He will report directly to the Chief Academic Officer for Secondary Education.

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The appointment of all three educational leaders is effective July 3, 2017.

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