Search for School Supt. About to Heat Up

The San Marino Unified School District Board of Education will receive a presentation at its meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 12, detailing how its newly hired search team plans to bring the district the most effective superintendent candidates it can find.
At its meeting last week, the board hired James Guerra of JG Consulting and Mike Escalante of Escalante & Associates to recruit the district’s new superintendent. The pair will outline their strategy at the next board meeting after spending the day meeting with board members on their expectations for candidates.
The district aims to have a new superintendent selected by the end of spring and ready to take the reins by the beginning of the next fiscal year on July 1. The hire will succeed Alex Cherniss, who departed SMUSD in September after more than four years on the job. Cherniss’ predecessor, Loren Kleinrock, has served as the interim superintendent since.
The Feb. 12 presentation will include information about the recruitment, screening and interviewing procedures and also will feature a discussion on holding stakeholder and community outreach meetings in the near future. The board made it clear in December that it intends to significantly factor in the community’s wishes when picking the district’s new leader.
That leader will inherit a district that has spent most of the past two decades as the state’s standard bearer when it comes to measurable academic achievement while also working with minimal funding from Sacramento. The district also will continue to face issues on such topics as facilities improvement and pension obligations in the foreseeable future.
On a related note, board members also approved the creation of a facilities advisory committee, which will advise the board on facilities needs, deferred maintenance, financing options and safety and security enhancements. The board plans to explain the procedures for applying to the committee at the Feb. 12 meeting as well.
The board meets at 7:30 p.m. that day in the district office board room.

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