Dr. Sally Cawthon

Dr. Sally Cawthon is the acting superintendent of the Hemet Unified School District. Cawthon is replacing Dr. Steven Lowder, who left to become the Stockton Unified School District Superintendent.


Cawthon has been with HUSD since 2002. From the Banning district, she joined Hemet as the Bautista Creek principal. She served as an Area Manager, where she became familiar with Idyllwild School and Hemet High School. She then became the assistant superintendent for educational services.

But the promotion to superintendent, even if it proves it may be temporary, was unexpected, Cawthon said. “The board called me into a meeting and asked if I were interested and willing,” she said.

But Cawthon does not look at the opportunity as merely holding the space for a permanent superintendent. When asked if she would apply, she replied, “I think I will because we’re working on some exciting curriculum changes.”

The curriculum proposals come from the programs and staff she currently manages. and Cawthon believes these changes will have a dramatic effect on the quality of the district. She would like to see them adopted and implemented.

She hopes her interim role will help stabilize the district. Staff, principals and teachers all have a sense that the district is a family that supports and cares for each other, according to her.

Within this community, she will not be a placeholder. “I’ll use that to build and do more things. On-going improvement is always part of the cycle,” she said. “I’ll look at each problem and then try one solution until we have the best for everyone.”

Cawthon is a very pleasant and friendly administrator, but she is prepared to compete. She and her husband, Frank, participated in last week’s Idyllwild 5K & 10K Run and Fitness Walk again this year.