Ruth Perez, chief academic officer for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, has been named superintendent of the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District in California.

Perez was named CMS’s chief academic officer in August of 200 and supervised efforts to boost student achievement. Most recently, she led the district’s dropout-prevention efforts.

The Norwalk-La Mirada school board selected Perez in a 6-1 vote Monday night after conducting a nationwide search. The current superintendent is retiring at the end of June after 15 years.

“This is a natural progression for me in my professional career as an instructional leader,” Perez said.

She will begin her new job July 1.

The Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District is in Los Angeles County and is about 25 miles southeast of the city. It has about 23,000 students; more than 70 percent are Hispanic.

Perez, a native of Puerto Rico, is fluent in Spanish and began her career teaching English as a second language. She holds a bachelor of arts in English literature from Queens College of the City University of New York in 1987. She also holds a master’s degree and a doctoral degree, both in education, from Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

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