June 19, 2024


El Chicano, Colton Courier, Rialto Record

Decorated Veteran Educator, Rialto Resident, Dr. Edward D’Souza Appointed RUSD Acting Superintendent

4 min read

Dr. Ed D’Souza, a decorated veteran educator, was appointed Rialto Unified School District’s Acting Superintendent during a Special School Board Meeting, held on May 14 at the Dr. John R. Kazalunas Education Center in Rialto.

Edward D’Souza, Ph.D, who has served almost four decades in the Rialto Unified School District was appointed RUSD Acting Superintendent during an RUSD Special School Board Meeting, held on May 14, at the Dr. John R. Kazalunas Education Center in Rialto.

The Board of Education appointed Dr. D’Souza by a 3-0 vote, with Board President Joseph Martinez abstaining, and Board Vice President Edgar Montes, Clerk Evelyn Dominguez, and Member Nancy O’Kelley voting yes for the appointment. Board Member Dr. Stephanie Lewis was absent during the open session of the meeting, although Martinez announced that Lewis would participate during the closed session, via phone. She was out of the State during the meeting.

Previously, the RUSD Board of Education took action on a 3-2 vote to place RUSD Superintendent Dr. Cuauhtémoc Avila on non-disciplinary paid leave effective immediately during its regular RUSD Board Meeting on May 8, 2024. Dr. Avila began working as the superintendent in 2015.

Dr. D’Souza brings an extensive background in education leadership and a proven commitment to academic excellence.

Born in Myanmar (Rangoon, Burma), his family left as refugees, relocating to Calcutta, India, in the late 1960s. D’Souza is a lifelong RUSD educator, who served as the Lead Academic Agent of Math and Early College Programs in Education Services before accepting the task of the acting school chief.

“Dr. Ed D’Souza knows our District and has over 40 years in public education with a demonstrated commitment to student achievement and equity. The Board is confident in Dr. Ed D’Souza’s ability to lead the District at this moment and deeply appreciates his willingness to do so,” read Edgar Montes, Vice President RUSD Board of Education, on behalf of the Board of Education, during the live board meeting.

Dr. D’Souza earned a Doctorate in Math Education and two Master of Arts degrees from The Claremont Graduate School and Azusa Pacific University, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Physics/Mathematics from Grinnell College.

According to Syeda Jafri, Spokeswoman for the District, Dr. D’Souza held several key positions at sites across the District and demonstrated his extensive leadership and commitment to education. Previously as a RUSD Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education, he provided leadership for curriculum and instructional services, supporting the District’s instructional goals and professional growth opportunities. Dr. D’Souza also served as Senior Director of Professional Development and Induction, overseeing the development and implementation of instructional professional development programs. Additionally, he served as Principal of Kolb Middle School, Director II of Mathematics and Science, Assistant Principal of Kucera Middle School, and Dean of Students at Eisenhower High School.

In his most recent role as Lead Academic Agent for Math and Early College Programs, Dr. D’Souza has been instrumental in planning, creating, and managing comprehensive programs aimed at enhancing student performance and preparing them for college and careers. He has single-handedly brought over $14 million in grants for the District, in math and science.

Dr. D’Souza has also served as the Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education, where he provided leadership for curriculum and instructional services across the district. His efforts were focused on maximizing resources to achieve the district’s instructional goals, developing district-wide professional growth opportunities, and ensuring compliance with state and federal mandates.

Beyond his roles within Rialto USD, Dr. D’Souza has made significant contributions at both the national and the state levels. At the national level, the man who is affectionately known as the “math guru” served on the expert panel in mathematics. He was selected by both then-Governor Jerry Brown and the State Board of Education to serve as the Instructional Quality Commissioner for the California State Board of Education. On these Boards, Dr. D’Souza advised on matters related to curriculum, instructional materials, and content standards. He chaired the California Mathematics Framework Committee and participated in various other State committees, demonstrating his expertise and commitment to advancing education in California. Dr. D’Souza brought this wealth of knowledge back to the RUSD.

A Rialto resident since the 1980s, he has earned numerous awards and honors, including RUSD Board of Education Key to the District, Green Ribbon Gold Achiever Award, and the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) Region 12 “Administrator of the Year” Award in 2014. In 2016, he earned ACSA’s Wilson Grace Award. He has been recognized for his work in securing significant grants, such as the California Mathematics and Science Partnership Grant, which brought substantial funding to support professional development in math and science within the district.

Dr. D’Souza stated, “Rialto is not only my home, but where I feel I have thrived while supporting thousands of students, throughout the decades, and helping them achieve their K12 and college and career-ready goals. I am very honored and humbled that the Board of Education has confidence in my ability to lead. I will do my best to stabilize and support students and staff through the coming months. At any level in public education, we are in this business of providing quality instruction to students and that’s where our focus should be.”

Dr. D’Souza is the son of the late Edwin and Eva D’Souza. He has one older brother, Ricard D’Souza who works as the Chief Information Security Officer for the Riverside County Office of Education.


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