ENCINITAS — The Encinitas Union School District didn’t have to look far for its new superintendent, hiring from within its ranks.
District trustees unanimously voted to appoint Andree Grey, the district’s assistant superintendent of educational services, to a four-year contract to replace Tim Baird, who retires this summer.
The contract comes with an automatic one-year renewal if she does not receive a negative performance review.
Grey, who has been with the district since 2016, will receive a $225,000 base salary plus a $2,000 cafeteria stipend, a $2,000 stipend to help her cover the cost of her doctoral degree (she is working on her education doctorate from UCSD), 25 paid vacation and 12 paid sick days per year in addition to health and retirement benefits.
Grey’s pay and fringe benefits total more than $290,000.
The board voted at its May 7 meeting to approve the hire, but heard from district employees and principals who endorsed her hiring at the April 30 meeting.
Before being hired in Encinitas, Gray worked for the Temecula Valley Unified School District for nearly 21 years, starting as a teacher before being promoted to an elementary school principal at Temecula Luiseno Elementary and Pauba Valley Elementary for a combined 11 years and to the director of curriculum and instruction for the final five years with the district.
Grey’s contract calls for her to receive a 2.5% raise at the end of year one and three of her employment and a 5% raise after years two and four.
By her fifth year, her base contract will be $260,620.66, per a district staff report.
The board will evaluate her performance every year before May 31.
Her predecessor, Baird, is retiring after 10 years with the district following being hired from the Ojai Unified School District in 2009.
During his tenure, the district expanded its reach to include a farm lab on property on Quail Gardens Drive that serves both an educational and nutritional purpose for the district.
But Baird also had his critics, especially as it pertained to the district’s health and wellness program, which features yoga.
An Encinitas parent unsuccessfully sued the district over the yoga program, arguing that it indoctrinated students with Hindu religious beliefs.
Parents in 2016 protested a budget proposal to pay $800,000 to keep the program alive after losing the grant funding that had sustained it for years.
Most of the district’s parents, teachers and administrators, however, have praised Baird for his innovation and progressive leadership style.