School board appoints interim superintendent

Mohammad Z. Islam has been appointed as Rialto Unified School District’s interim superintendent.

After six months, the Rialto Unified school board has appointed an interim superintendent.

Mohammad Z. Islam, the district’s associate superintendent of business services, fills the post of former district superintendent, Harold Cebrun.

The board voted 4-1 on March 12 during[restrict userlevel= “subscriber”] the evening school board meeting, with member Joseph Martinez in opposition.

Board member Edgar Montes motioned to vote Islam into the vacant spot.

The nearly dozen in attendance cheered and clapped as a result of the board’s voting decision.

Islam followed with comments thanking the board.

“I want to thank the board (for your) outstanding leadership given this difficult time in going through the hearing process. It’s not easy for you–you (have) really proved yourself that you are the outstanding leader. You care for the community, you care for our students, you care for our staff… I’d also like to thank you for your confidence and trust in me and my staff… Rialto should be a model district and under your leadership I think we will get there. I will give you that confidence and trust that we as a team, every one of us, will move in the right direction to bring the district as a model district.”

Islam first took the post as acting superintendent after Cebrun was placed on administrative leave in connection with the arrest and  investigation into Judith Oaks, a former accountant accused of embezzling $1.8 million from RUSD’s Nutrition Services department.

On two occasions, surveillance videos reportedly caught Oaks stuffing large amounts of money into her bra.

Oakes, 49, resigned the day after she was arrested Aug. 7 on suspicion of embezzlement and grand theft.

Cebrun announced his retirement as superintendent with the district March 7, which officially ends his five-year term with Rialto Unified on March 31.[/restrict]