After nearly four decades in education, Woodlake Unified School District superintendent Drew Sorensen is set to retire as of June 30, 2018. Serving four years as principal and six years as superintendent of WUSD, Sorensen will conclude his 10th year working for the Woodlake district upon his retirement.
Sorensen and his wife, Leslie, who recently retired as a career educator, are looking forward to letting the transition soak in for a while, he said.
“We hope to find ourselves and do something new,” said Sorensen. “We want to travel and do some exploring.”
Sorensen does not intend to rest on his laurels, however. After working every day until June 29, he intends to put in some hours and expertise at local nonprofits and impart some “human experience” to children and those less fortunate, as he has throughout his professional career.
After beginning his career in 1980 at St. Francis High School in La Canada Flintridge, Sorensen has been a teacher, counselor, activities director, assistant principal, principal, coach, and superintendent of the Visalia and Woodlake unified school districts.
Sorensen’s educational philosophy is, “Students face enough headwinds. Let’s make some tailwinds for them.”
He has demonstrated this over the years at Woodlake by making sure students are reading at grade level by third grade and advancing appropriately in math so they have the same opportunities students might have in the larger schools in urban areas.
Embracing new technology has been a hallmark of Sorensen’s career. Students have desktop computers available at school as well as high-speed internet for access to educational apps via tablet computers.
“Work has always been a hobby and a passion of mine,” said Sorensen. “I’ve been fortunate to work with great students, teachers, administrators, and board members. It’s all about collective effort.”
Career at a Glance
1980-1987— St. Francis High School, La Canada Unified School District (Los Angeles County). Teacher, counselor, activities’ director, assistant principal, varsity boys’ tennis coach, varsity boys’ basketball coach.
1987-1989— Redwood High School, Visalia. Counselor.
1989-1991— Redwood High School. Administrative intern.
1991-1994— Mt. Whitney High School, Visalia. Assistant principal,
1994-1997— Redwood High School. Assistant principal.
1997-2001— Woodlake Union High School. Principal.
2001-2008— El Diamante High School. First principal of Visalia’s newest high school.
2008-2012— Visalia Unified School District. Area superintendent.
2012-June 29, 2018— Woodlake Unified School District. Superintendent.