Mr. Anderson, an Imperial County native, graduated from Stanford University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and holds a Master of Arts Degree in English from UCLA. He has served as an educator for 40 years in the capacity of teacher, lecturer and administrator at the elementary, secondary and college levels. John Anderson’s service and leadership on behalf of the student’s, school districts, and community of Imperial County is evidenced by his dedication to education. Prior to his appointment as Imperial County Superintendent of Schools in 1997, Mr. Anderson served as a District Superintendent in the Brawley Elementary School District and Central Union High School District
Mr. Anderson has brought systemic change to Imperial County. When he became County Superintendent of Schools the office had a staff of 260. Anderson led the Imperial County Office of Education (ICOE) in identifying student, teacher and parent needs and then worked to secure grant funding and resources to address those needs. As a result, today nearly 700 ICOE employees work to meet the needs of students, teachers, schools and the community. The ICOE, through Anderson’s creative problem solving tactics, partnered with the Imperial Irrigation District (IID) to connect schools to Internet-based resources. The effective management of this considerable endeavor contributed to the selection of ICOE to manage the High Speed Network for California’s K-12 community. This statewide program delivers high-speed networking and quality online resources to support teaching and learning.
Mr. Anderson challenged the President of the University of California (UC) to invest in improving college attendance rates in Imperial County. The result was the “College-Going Initiative,” a collaborative effort between UC, ICOE, and local districts working to increase eligibility and admission rates for Imperial County students. This initiative instituted coordinated outreach, summer algebra academies for 8th graders, better and earlier information sharing with parents, recruitment fairs and college campus visits to help prepare students and parents for the challenges associated with college attendance. In 1999, 197 Imperial County students were accepted to college. In 2008 that number increased to 436 students, an increase of 221% over ten years.
Academic achievement in Imperial County has increased due in great part to Anderson’s leadership in service provision to teachers, schools and districts. John’s background in curriculum and instruction enabled him to oversee effective growth in curricular services. Furthermore, Anderson nurtures leadership qualities in others to encourage continuing gains in quality of life for the Imperial County community.
Anderson is a member of Kiwanis International, Cancer Resource Center of the Desert, and the Dean’s Advisory Committee for San Diego State University, Imperial Valley Campus. He served as President of the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (2004) and the El Centro Chamber of Commerce (2002).