School Board Picks Arcadia Administrator as New Superintendent

Jeff  Wilson
Jeff Wilson

The San Marino Unified School District’s new superintendent, who faces formal approval by the school board next week, won’t have to change his daily commute much once he starts work.
After the final round of closed-session interviews and discussion, the board last week decided on Jeff Wilson, the assistant superintendent of educational services for the Arcadia Unified School District, as its next top executive, pending a background check and contract negotiations. According to the district, Wilson is slated to be SMUSD’s 14th superintendent since 1918. Continue reading “School Board Picks Arcadia Administrator as New Superintendent”

School Board Zeroes In on Superintendent Finalist

The San Marino Unified School District Board of Education awaits contract negotiations and a successful background check before it announces its presumptive hire to be the district’s next superintendent.
The board reached its decision in a closed session meeting Monday evening, according to board President Lisa Link, and expects to announce the new superintendent’s name and background by the end of the week. Districts customarily withhold the names of applicants from public record in the interest of protecting the applicants’ desires from their present employers, often neighboring school districts. Continue reading “School Board Zeroes In on Superintendent Finalist”

44 Candidates Apply for School District Superintendent Position

As of last Thursday’s deadline, 44 have applied to be San Marino Unified School District’s next superintendent, nearly double the 25 who applied for the position when it was last posted about five years ago.
Those 44 applicants represent 12 states, giving a “great mix of California and national candidates,” according to Mike Escalante, one of the men hired to conduct the search. Escalante, along with colleague James Guerra, plans to present those applications and their video interviews to the SMUSD Board of Education in closed session on Tuesday, after which the board is expected to narrow down its top candidates. Continue reading “44 Candidates Apply for School District Superintendent Position”

SMUSD Names Panel on Capital Projects, Reviews Lockdown

Moving forward, the San Marino Unified School District plans to make use of its new Facilities Advisory Committee — whose members were formally sworn in at a meeting last week — to help make big decisions regarding capital projects and upgrades to district buildings.
The board of education — in the wake of a precautionary lockdown at San Marino High School this month — also heard a presentation on how the district plans to improve the way it communicates with parents during future emergencies. The lockdown followed an alleged text-message threat that city police now believe was a joke taken too far. Continue reading “SMUSD Names Panel on Capital Projects, Reviews Lockdown”

School Parcel Tax Renewed, Saving Some Teachers’ Jobs

The San Marino Unified School District got its parcel tax renewal last week, as 1,805 of 2,612 ballots submitted by voters supported the tax that has been collected by the district since 1991.
The tax — $366.40 per year per parcel — will continue to fund the salaries and benefits of 14 teachers and support staff members for the next six years. It is expected to generate about $1.6 million annually for that purpose. Continue reading “School Parcel Tax Renewed, Saving Some Teachers’ Jobs”

School Board Outlines Ideal Superintendent

It’s superintendent season, and the San Marino Unified School District Board of Education has an idea of the kind of executive it would like to lead its small, high-achieving district.
With a rough outline of an ideal candidate, hiring consultants Mike Escalante and James Guerra will begin crafting the job description and pitch with which they hope to attract a handful of strong applicants from which the board can ultimately make a hire. Board members spent much of their meeting last week summarizing what they want to the consultants. Continue reading “School Board Outlines Ideal Superintendent”

Stamp of Approval? Mailed Votes Due in School Tax Election

It’s time for another election in San Marino, as residents are tasked with mailing in their ballots asking whether to renew a six-year parcel tax on behalf of the San Marino Unified School District.
On the ballot is the proposed renewal of Measure R, a $366.40-per-parcel tax on San Marino properties that is expected to generate about $1.6 million annually to fund 13 full-time positions for SMUSD and an additional part-time position. This parcel tax was last renewed in 2013 and has been in effect since 1991. Continue reading “Stamp of Approval? Mailed Votes Due in School Tax Election”

School Board to Start Superintendent Hunt

Photo by Zane Hill / OUTLOOK Nam Jack, moments after her San Marino Unified School District Board of Education term ended, volunteered to campaign for the renewal of a district parcel tax at last week’s meeting.
Photo by Zane Hill / OUTLOOK
Nam Jack, moments after her
San Marino Unified School District Board of Education term ended, volunteered to campaign for the renewal of a district parcel tax
at last week’s meeting.

The newly rearranged San Marino Unified School District Board of Education appears ready to start moving on hiring a new superintendent for the district, with the first step likely to be the appointment of a subcommittee to determine which search firm to hire.
Officials are looking toward hiring the school system’s new leader before summer, the better to court the strongest candidates for the job. Linda de la Torre, the assistant superintendent who handles human resources for the district, said that the board will need to play catch-up in that regard and that she’s confident in its ability to do so. Continue reading “School Board to Start Superintendent Hunt”