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Characteristics and qualifications of new superintendent discussed

RANCHO SANTA FE — In the days ahead, the search for a new superintendent for the Rancho Santa Fe School District will begin. Championing the search is consultant Dr. Peggy Lynch of Leadership Associates.

In addition to a community-wide survey and from a March 21 parent and school staff meeting, Lynch also gleaned the preferences of the RSF School District’s board of trustees at a special March 24 board meeting.

Characteristics and qualifications Lynch wanted to carve out were items such as if the board wanted someone with previous superintendent experience or had earned a doctorate degree.

According to the community-wide survey and meeting, Lynch said, the feedback leaned in the direction of having a superintendent who was an educator and knew about education.

Other views Lynch shared were how respondents also appreciated a superintendent candidate who had been a teacher and an administrator. In this area, Lynch explained the variances that some may have administrative experience but not a superintendent background.

There was some discussion that followed when Lynch suggested that the salary be listed as “negotiable.”

Board of trustee president, Tyler Seltzer, shared that he thought there should be more flexibility. He didn’t want to unintentionally eliminate a potential candidate be it listed as negotiable or with a salary amount.

“So if you put a salary on here, and there’s someone that wouldn’t come for $5,000 more than that, are they not going to apply?” he asked rhetorically.

Seltzer wanted more leeway to cast a wider a net.

“There needs to be specificity that needs to be broad enough as well,” he said.

Lynch then suggested a salary range rather than a specific number.

The district’s attorney, Richard Currier, agreed that there should be some type of range or something else identifiable.

If negotiable is listed, it was Currier’s past experience that applicants may think that the board will pay what it needs to in order to bring that individual onboard.

“But if you have at least what the current superintendent makes, that gives people an idea and at least some range of where you’re going,” he said.

Currier then wanted to confirm with the board of trustees if they wanted a certificated employee and educator. That question promoted more dialogue.

Board of trustee vice-president Todd Frank wondered why a scholarly candidate wasn’t viewed in the same light as a scholastic candidate.

“Why would you cut off looking at that resume and application if someone has a doctorate, but just hasn’t spent time in the classroom, but understands how to run a business and all those things, but they just haven’t actually been certificated as a teacher? Why would you preclude that avenue?” he asked.

Currier explained that in the past superintendents had the scholastic background, because if need be, they could perform teacher evaluations.

“And in order to do an evaluation of a teacher, you must be a certificated administrator,” Currier said.

Following much discussion about characteristics and qualifications, Lynch said she would draft this portion once again and indicate that certification was preferred.

“I would suggest to you because we need to get this out is that you would delegate that to the superintendent in working with Dr. Lynch and then whatever they agree on, it could go out without having to come back to the board,” Currier said.