FRESNO, California (KSEE) – The Fresno Unified School District announced the promotion of one of their instructional superintendents, Mao Misty Her, to deputy superintendent.

She immigrated to California from southeast Asia with her family in 1980.  She grew up in Fresno and made her way through the school system as a student, teacher, principal, administrator, and now as deputy superintendent which will also give her the title of highest-ranking Hmong K-12 professional in the nation.

“It’s good when you’re the first because you’re paving a path, but there’s a lot that comes with it too, there’s a lot that comes with it.  I think for my community, for the Hmong community, especially for women because, for a long-time women in my community had not been in these types of roles and I’m proud,” she said.

Mao Misty Her is raising a child who’s a student in the district and even her parents worked in Fresno Unified as custodians for more than 30 years. She shares that her own family values are what makes her passionate about the Fresno Unified School District.

“You have to treat the 74,000 kids and families as if they were your own and when you orient in that way, you don’t lose yourself.”

She will work alongside superintendent, Bob Nelson, who shares their long history together.

“It’s the first chance I’ve had to hire a deputy.  She’s a really natural fit for that job,” said Nelson. “She has 27 years of service in and for the district.  Our personal claim to fame is that we both became principals at the same board meeting back in 2004.  She’s just a force for good.”

Her says Fresno Unified is first focusing on students returning to the classroom and she will slowly transition to her new role as deputy superintendent.