Lynwood Unified School District Superintendent, Gudiel R. Crosthwaite, has enjoyed more nearly 30 years in education while teaching, mentoring and removing barriers to student success. Since joining Lynwood in 2010, as Director of School Reform, Crosthwaite’s collaborative work and leadership has been instrumental in the District’s extraordinary gains in student achievement, including rising graduation rates and increasing participation and success in Advanced Placement (AP) coursework. The District’s growth culminated when it was named 2017 AP District of the Year by the College Board for expanding access to AP courses while simultaneously improving AP exam performance. Lynwood Unified was one of only three Districts in the nation – and only one in California – to receive this distinction.
Under Crosthwaite’s leadership and advocacy in 2022, Lynwood Unified received $250 million in state support to rebuild its Lynwood High School Imperial Campus, a seismic victory for the District and community. Crosthwaite’s guidance also led to every Lynwood Unified school being recognized in 2022 with Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) awards for their outstanding efforts in creating and maintaining a positive campus climate and creating an engaging environment where students can succeed.
Crosthwaite has proven to be a collaborator both statewide and nationally, serving as a member for various national organizations, including League of Innovative Schools, the Rise Up Coalition, Edloc, National Academy of Sciences and Engineering, and also serves on the Board of the Lynwood Partners Educational Foundation.
Crosthwaite began his career in education in 1994 as an eighth-grade teacher and later served as a high school English and English Language Development teacher before becoming an administrator at the elementary, middle, and high school levels.
Crosthwaite earned an undergraduate degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, and after graduating taught middle school English, English language development and social studies. He returned to school to pursue a master’s degree at Harvard University Graduate School of Education and became the executive director of a nonprofit organization that provided educational support to students in need. Crosthwaite holds two master’s degrees; one from California State University, Los Angeles in Educational Administration and another from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He earned his Ph.D. in Education from Claremont Graduate University.
In 2010, Crosthwaite became Lynwood Unified’s Director of School Reform, supervising all K-8 school operations. He was promoted to deputy superintendent of educational services in 2013, monitoring and supervising student achievement, staff development, facility issues, data analysis, budget development and community partnerships. Crosthwaite has been instrumental in helping to develop a new strategic plan for the District, dismantling student tracking typically required for entrance into honors or AP courses, and raising student achievement to garner the highest API gains in the state two years in a row for a K-12 urban district with more than 7,000 students. Crosthwaite’s support has placed Lynwood Unified’s graduation rates on a consistent positive trajectory. Since 2010-11, Lynwood High has climbed 25.3 percentage points and Firebaugh High has risen by 23.9 percentage points. Crosthwaite currently serves as Lynwood Unified’s Superintendent of Schools.