Two superintendents. Two school districts. One home.
Dwayne and Nicole Newman are both superintendents at Orland Unified School District and Wheatland Union High School District, respectively.
Nicole Newman has been the superintendent in Wheatland for a little more than a year and Dwayne Newman just started as Orland’s superintendent this school year.
Nicole Newman said they met in Colorado where they were both school administrators. They moved to California about seven years ago because of the warmer climate and Nicole Newman became the principal at Orland High School and Dwayne Newman started as the superintendent in Colusa.
“I knew the minute I met him that it was love at first sight,” Nicole Newman said. “He’s so smart and he’s been such a positive role model for me and makes me aspire not only to be a better person, but to be a better administrator.”
She said they both have the motto of “doing what’s best for kids.”
Nicole Newman said it’s helpful having another person to talk to about what they’re doing at work and getting another perspective.
“For us, it’s just natural that we talk about school stuff all the time, school improvement and how to make things better for kids,” Dwayne Newman said. “We share ideas and bounce concepts off each other all the time.”
He said a challenge he’s noticed is, because they both have a time-consuming job, they don’t get to see each other as much as they’d like during the school year.
Nicole Newman said they try to find ways to spend time away from school and not necessarily discussing their job – such as using their backyard as a space to relax and unwind.
With Orland and Wheatland being in the same league, their sports teams also compete on occasion.
“It’s a lot of fun but I hate to lose and he’s kind of that way too,” Nicole Newman said.
Recently, the Trojans and Pirates faced off in a football game and Wheatland defeated Orland for the first time in a long time – Nicole Newman said they have an amazing coach and team.
“When we won, nobody expected us to win,” Nicole Newman said.
Dwayne Newman said they also kind of make it a competition and fun – they have a flagpole outside of their home, so whichever one of their teams wins, they fly the team’s flag underneath their American flag.
“We’re both educators and that’s initially how we met. We both have a passion for schools and school leadership and doing good for kids,” Dwayne Newman said. “I just enjoy what I do and I know she’s the same. We enjoy talking about it and debating and sharing ideas.”