RUSD deputy superintendent to retire this year

Ends 40-year teaching career with award for top administrator
By: Michael Althouse
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Culminating a 40-year career in teaching, Rocklin Unified School District Deputy Superintendent Paul Carras is retiring this year, but not before adding another accomplishment to his distinguished career. Carras was named the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) top central office administrator for all school districts in the ten-county ACSA Region 2. The state’s top regional administrators in 19 different categories are entered into a statewide contest, however, finishing as a top regional winner still represents a significant achievement, said RUSD Superintendent Kevin Brown. “There are 17 school districts in Placer County alone,” Brown said, adding that it is a major accomplishment just to finish as number one in the county, let alone the much larger region. Brown hired Carras after shortly after coming to the RUSD 10 years ago. “We were looking for an individual that had the education and the skill set that encompassed that of a teacher, a site-level principal and a central office administrator,” he said. “He brought with him 30-odd years (of experience).” Prior to coming to Rocklin, Carras worked his way through the ranks in Chico, first as a teacher and then a principal before becoming a central-office administrator in the Chico school system. “His knowledge level and his ability to analyze situations and make decisions is rare,” Brown said. “He is very deserving of the ACSA award (and) he is going to be very difficult to replace.” Brown went on to say that all of the district’s numerous California Distinguished School Awards, the Blue Ribbon Schools and the high academic performance index (API) scores were all under Carras’ leadership. Carras originally planned to retire last year, but Brown said, “I talked him out of it.” In addition to his duties as deputy superintendent in Rocklin, Carras was recently appointed as president of the Western Placer Unified School District Board (WPUSD), overseeing the schools in Lincoln. Although Carras said he was honored to have received recognition from ACSA, he is most proud of the academic achievements Rocklin schools have earned under his watch. Regarding his decision to retire after 40 years, Carras said, “It wasn’t necessarily the 40 years that triggered it, but I wanted to stay to see the first Whitney High School class walk.” Carras said that the Whitney High School project was already started when he came on board, but his experience was well suited to opening a new school. “My background had been on the personnel side and facilities,” he said adding that the RUSD wanted to provide for not only advanced academic programs, but also vocational curriculum noting, “not every kid is going to go to MIT.” WPUSD Superintendent Scott Leaman said that having a board president with a background in education is helpful, but Carras’ best quality is that “he’s really a team player.” “He told me that he’ll have more time (after he retires) to put into Western Placer,” Leaman said. “He’s one of those people who has a lot of tools in his tool box, but none of them are blunt instruments.”