Dr. Don Austin comes to the Palo Alto Unified School District as the new Superintendent of Schools with applicable experience and a desire to help all students realize their full potential. Dr. Austin chose Palo Alto after extensive research and years of following the schools and community. Previous positions of superintendent, assistant superintendent, high school principal, assistant principal, and teacher have prepared him well for the complexities of high-achieving school districts.
The Chula Vista native earned his undergraduate degree from Baker University in Kansas and his doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from Azusa Pacific University in California. In each setting, leadership development was an important component of the program. His dissertation studied the impact of helping students to use their strengths and talents in every situation, while learning to manage their weaknesses.
Dr. Austin believes strongly in the importance of organizational clarity, commitment to the fundamentals of school business, fiscal responsibility, innovation through pilots, access and equity, replicating best practices, honest and direct communication, and meticulous attention to detail. Dr. Austin strives to hire, develop, and retain the best talent in every position to best support all students. He takes joy in seeing the magic moments that make school an experience worth remembering. As a life-long educator and learner, Dr. Austin is proud to serve the Palo Alto Unified School District and pledges his best effort each day!