William “Bill” McDermott is Taft Union High School District’s interim boss.
The retired Coalinga-Huron Joint Unified School District superintendent signed a contract Monday to fill in temporarily while Taft High conducts a search for a permanent replacement.
“I’ll be doing all I possibly can until the district selects a new superintendent,” he said. “Taft High is a well thought-of school district, and I’m happy to be here.”
McDermott is filling in after Supt./Principal Mark Richardson resigned abruptly just before the school year started to become superintendent of the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District.
Taft High trustees quickly appointed Marilyn Brown as principal, a job she held for three years prior to Richardson’s arrival four years ago when the board decided to combine the two administrative positions.
The district has contracted with a professional search company to recruit applicants for a permanent replacement.
McDermott, who retired four years ago and has served as an interim superintendent once before, has a Kern County connection.
“I worked in the Kern High School District at both West and South high schools,” he said. “I also worked in the district office.”
He has 40 years of experience in education – 25 of it in administration.
“I taught math and science and was a counselor at Anaheim Union School District and assistant principal in San Marino. I also was at Pomona College in the development department.”
He was an assistant superintendent before becoming a district superintendent.
A Santa Clarita resident, McDermott earned his bachelor’s degree at UC Davis and his master’s and PhD at University of Southern California.
At his last job in Coalinga, he oversaw the operations of an 11-school, 4,500-student district that included four elementary schools, three middle schools and 1,200-student Coalinga High School.