Orange USD Trustees Appoint Gunn Marie Hansen, Ph.D., Superintendent of Schools

Orange, CA – December 8, 2017 -Orange, CA – The Orange Unified School District Board of Trustees is pleased to announce the appointment of Gunn Marie Hansen, Ph.D. as the new Superintendent of Schools.  Dr. Hansen has a rich history with Orange having served as both Deputy and Assistant Superintendent, as well as being the current Interim Superintendent for Orange USD.

Input for the new Superintendent included sessions with all stakeholder groups - administrators, staff, community groups, parents and key city and business partners. Forums were held with the constituents and an online survey was available on the District website.  Utilizing the feedback from the community, Leadership Associates, a premier executive search firm, advertised and conducted an extensive nationwide search for the position.  

The Board of Education worked with Leadership Associates Consultants Dr. Kent Bechler, Dr. Dennis Smith and Dr. Mark Ecker, to conduct the Superintendent Search and develop the candidate profile. The recruitment resulted in 36 candidate requests.  This week the Board of Trustees reviewed the 23 completed applications

The Board of Education realized that they did not need to look far to find their new Superintendent, and appointed Dr. Hansen at their regular meeting on December 7. Based on the stakeholder feedback and leadership profile, it was decided she was the best fit for Orange Unified School District.  Dr. Hansen was selected from an incredibly talented group of candidates. 

Newly Elected Board President, Dr. Alexia Deligianni-Brydges stated, ”Dr. Hansen’s leadership and commitment is tried and true. Over the past several months as the Interim Superintendent she has led the district through the opening of schools, developed a collaborative team, supported the implementation of the Facilities Bond, managed the crisis of the Canyon 2 Fire with school closures and evacuations and consistently kept the focus on student learning.  

Her past leadership as the Deputy Superintendent has resulted in the attainment of 24 California Gold Ribbon School Awards, expansion of 13 Career Technical Education pathways, innovative STEAM programs and collaborative relationships with teachers and staff resulting in numerous awards for Orange USD Schools. I look forward to working with her to promote our schools with top quality education preparing students for university, technical trades and well paid careers in the 21st Century.”

Former Board President, Rick Ledesma said, “With a proven track record of success, Dr. Hansen is an incredible asset to the District as we head into the future. She has been recognized for her excellent communication skills, ethical leadership and ability to think outside the box. As an innovator, she established the first Mandarin Immersion School in Orange County resulting in increased enrollment. 

Recently, her leadership team delivered a positive audit report to continue the stellar OUSD fiscal reputation. Dr. Hansen is a highly regarded visionary who will take OUSD to the next level. She is dedicated to the Orange community, committed long-term, and the Board of Education has great confidence in her abilities”

Dr. Hansen said, “It is a distinct honor to be selected by the OUSD Trustees as the new Superintendent.  I am excited to get to work with our team to accelerate student achievement, develop innovative opportunities for learning, and guide the implementation of the Facilities Bond.  I look forward to collaborating with our teachers, staff, students and parents to elevate the district to the next level of success”

Dr. Hansen earned her Masters and Doctorate Degree from the University of Southern California and two bachelors degrees from Tulane University.  She has been an elementary and high school teacher, mentor teacher, assistant principal, principal, curriculum director, university professor and associate, deputy and interim Superintendent.

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The Orange Unified School District educates approximately 28,000 K-12 grade students in the Cities of Orange, Villa Park, Anaheim, Garden Grove, Santa Ana, and unincorporated county areas.  In partnership with our community, we provide a safe, equitable, and innovative culture of learning for each scholar to have a competitive EDGE as a leader.