RANCHO SANTA FE — The lawn of the Inn at Rancho Santa Fe was filled with holiday music Dec. 11 as first- through eighth-graders came together to sing Christmas carols with friends and family. Everyone was encouraged to sing along as each class came forward to sing a holiday favorite. Afterward, warm drinks and refreshments were provided by The Inn and disappeared quickly.
After the sing-along, it was “back to school” for school board members who attended the last meeting of the calendar year. Superintendent Lindy Delaney administered the Oath of Allegiance to new trustee Jim Cimino and returning trustees Richard Burdge and Jim Depolo.
Carlie Headapohl was voted the new president of the board of trustees. Richard Burdge will serve as vice president and Jim Depolo as clerk. Board members will rotate as representatives to the annual meeting of the San Diego County School Board Association and the Trustee Review Committee of the North Coastal Consortium for Special Education . Superintendent Delay will continue to serve as Secretary to the board of trustees.
The new board of trustees then honored the student government. Sixth-grade teacher and student governor advisor Doug Hinko presented Co-Presidents Jordan Robbins and Brendan Kaiser, along with other officers and governors of grades five through eight. “These kids are each serving on committees and learning how to serve their fellow students,” Hinko said. Delaney told the board that in the spirit of the recent national election, the student body developed a two-party system and candidates ran for office. There was a tie for one of the offices and, because of this, a run-off will be held.
John Cappetta and Barbara Edwards, co-chairs of the Rancho Santa Fe Education Foundation, gave a brief report to the board on the status of the foundation, whose primary goal is to raise supplemental funds for the school. Cappetta said that so far the foundation has raised $830,000 of its $850,000 fundraising objective.
“Hats off to you guys,” Delaney said. Her sentiments were echoed by the board of trustees.
Even though fundraising efforts are on track, Cappetta and Edwards were concerned about declining revenue streams from pledges. In the past, pledges were north of $450,000. This year they slipped to less than $300,000. According to Edwards and Cappetta, only 61 percent of the families in the Ranch are donors and they would like to raise this number to 75 percent. “Although I have not given up on 100 percent,” Edwards said. Once the foundation has reached its goal of 75 percent, it would like to shift attention to participation. “We’ve asked teachers and faculty to participate, too,” Edwards said. A flyer was recently mailed to the community asking for donations and participation pledges. Headapohl noted that businesses in the Ranch have also supported the foundation.
Delaney reported that bids are coming in from contractors for the school renovation project. “We are bidding in a great climate,” Delaney said, referring to the economy. “We will be able to get a lot for our money. We are moving at warp speed.”
With the board’s blessings, Delaney created two new director titles: director of technology and director of finance. She said she is also going to implement changes to extra curricular activity for students on probation to get them back into sports programs should their grades and conduct improve.
The next school board meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Jan. 8.