ENCINITAS — The San Dieguito Union High School District appears to be holding on to their interim superintendent for a bit longer than they originally intended.
After failing to receive an adequate amount of requests for proposals (RFP) from search firms, the SDUHSD school board voted to keep Interim Superintendent Lucile Lynch in her position through the end of this calendar year.
Lynch was named to the interim position this April following the abrupt departure of previous superintendent Dr. Robert Haley.
Since taking the position, Lynch has been a calming force in the district, winning over many who previously criticized the district’s communication skills during Haley’s tenure.
“It’s not ideal to have an interim superintendent for too long but I have to be honest, Ms. Lynch has provided a level of attention to detail, stability and professionalism that could at least get us through the instability of our current board situation,” said Heather Dugdale, a district parent.
After the district’s call for RFPs, only three firms submitted applications which gave the board pause as to how they ought to move forward in a tumultuous time in the school district.
“I’m very disappointed in the number of responses. I would have expected more like 10 or 15 or so. I think it goes to, fundamentally, lack of outreach on our side,” Trustee Michael Allman said. “I think in something like you you have to be much more proactive.”
With the district down one board member and another facing a recall effort, Trustee Katrina Young suggested search firms and possible superintendents may be turned off from San Dieguito.
“I think that if we’re just going to be frank and honest we may have to look to the fact that we have so much going on in this district and that may be scaring some people off,” Young said.
Allman followed Young’s point by asking her if she would not support the recall effort against him as a way of building stability.
Young was uncomfortable doing so.
“I don’t think that’s an appropriate question for the conversation we’re having,” Young said. “I don’t have an opinion. It’s not my place to have an opinion on that. That’s for the Area 4 voters.”
Allman did however agree that the district will have a tough time finding a permanent superintendent while the board is in the situation it finds itself in currently. To that end, Allman made the motion to delay the superintendent search and keep Lynch in her position through December 31, 2021.
Lynch has made it known that this position is not one she would like to keep permanently but when asked if she was willing to stay on through the end of the calendar year she responded, “yes.”
And while Board President Mo Muir and Allman jumped in and took her answer before finishing her statement, Lynch did continue stating her desire for the board to not stop in their RFP process for a search firm.
“I would just say I would encourage the board of course to move forward with an RFP process to collect that so that a decision could be made by December 31,” Lynch said.