Credit: Illustration by Chris Allen, VOICE

Breanna Reeves |

San Bernardino City Unified School District (SBCUSD) Superintendent Harry “Doc” Ervin will retire at the end of the current school year, according to an announcement made on May 3, 2022. 

Ervin’s last day as superintendent will be July 1, 2022. 

He stepped into the role of superintendent last year after the Board of Education unanimously appointed him to the three-year position. With his early retirement, Ervin will have only completed one of the required three years.

“When I joined the SBCUSD team, my goal was twofold. First, to reopen schools to in-person learning after the pandemic pushed classes online for a year, and second to set us on a transformational path toward becoming a high-performing public school district,” said Ervin in a news release

“I am proud to say we accomplished the first and have good curricular, instructional, and assessment systems and structures in place to support the second.”

“When I joined the SBCUSD team, my goal was twofold. First, to reopen schools to in-person learning after the pandemic pushed classes online for a year, and second to set us on a transformational path toward becoming a high-performing public school district,” said Ervin (source: sbcusd.com)

Prior to joining SBCUSD, Ervin was the superintendent for the Bakersfield City School District since 2016. Ervin has served as an educator and administrator for more than 25 years across a number of counties including Kern, Monterey and Los Angeles. Previously, Ervin was a classroom teacher, principal, assistant superintendent.  

According to Ervin, his decision to retire early was a result of “careful” consideration of family, health and progress toward his professional goals. 

“Superintendent Ervin came to SBCUSD, listened to our community, and led us through reopening our schools with an emphasis on doing what’s best for kids,” said Dr. Scott Wyatt, President of the Board of Education, in the statement. “While his tenure will be brief, his impact on our system has helped us see new opportunities to help scholars excel and move our District on a trajectory toward becoming a high performing district of excellence.”

Progress despite tensions

Four months into the start of his tenure as superintendent, Ervin faced backlash from community and board members during a meeting of the SBCUSD Board of Education on September 21, 2021. During the meeting, Ervin was accused of creating an atmosphere of insecurity among other criticisms.

Four months into the start of his tenure as superintendent, Ervin faced backlash from community members during a closed session of the SBCUSD. (source: youtube.com)

In October 2021, Ervin established a Listening & Learning Tour which welcomed ideas and input from parents about  the “curricular, instructional, operational, social-emotional and wellness of the San Bernardino City Unified School District.”

The statement noted that Ervin “spent several months gathering input from the community” and as a result of his findings, the district developed five comprehensive goals to strengthen student outcomes. He urged community members, school administrators and board members to join a task force. The task force developed a plan called the Framework for Excellence: Vision 2025, which is nearly complete, according to the district.

“While his tenure will be brief, his impact on our system has helped us see new opportunities to help scholars excel and move our District on a trajectory toward becoming a high performing district of excellence,” said SBCUSD president Dr. Scott Wyatt. (source: sbcusd.com)

“As I have said since I started my role here, SBCUSD has everything it needs to be a high-performing, urban public school system,” said Ervin. “I believe in the plans our team developed together with input from our school community. I believe they can be successful regardless of my decision to step away because this District is an educational community that wants transformational change.”

Breanna Reeves

Breanna Reeves is a reporter in Riverside, California, and uses data-driven reporting to cover issues that affect the lives of Black Californians. Breanna joins Black Voice News as a Report for America Corps member. Previously, Breanna reported on activism and social inequality in San Francisco and Los Angeles, her hometown. Breanna graduated from San Francisco State University with a bachelor’s degree in Print & Online Journalism. She received her master’s degree in Politics and Communication from the London School of Economics. Contact Breanna with tips, comments or concerns at breanna@voicemediaventures.com or via twitter @_breereeves.