RANCHO SANTA FE — The Dec. 13 Rancho Santa Fe School Board meeting was one of comings, goings and emotions wrapped up in regular school business. Jim Depolo, who had been on the board for 10 years, was given a clock and teary goodbyes by those with whom he had served for a most of a decade.
“What has guided him the most is that it is about the kids,” said Superintendent Lindy Delaney as she presented the clock to him. “He said when we do that, everything seems to work out.”
Depolo, whose voice cracked during the presentation, said he will miss everyone.
“Serving on the school board has been my pleasure and it has been a big part of my life,” he said.
Inscribed on the clock were the words “Always putting children first.”
After a round of handshakes and hugs, Depolo left the meeting and the new school board members were sworn in. First-time board member Todd Buchner; veteran trustee Richard Burdge; and Tyler Seltzer, who had been appointed last year, but had won the seat in the recent election, raised their right hands and pledged to fulfill their duties for the next four years.
Next, officers for the year were elected. Marti Ritto was chosen president; Richard Burdge, vice president; and Todd Frank, clerk. Delaney serves as secretary on the board.
Ritto was chosen to attend the Annual Meeting of the San Diego County School Boards Association. Frank will be the representative to the Trustee Review Committee of the North Coastal Consortium for Special Education. He will also remain the Education Foundation’s ex-officio representative.
After the board election was over, second-graders Joseph Dlugos and Betsy Hass read their essays that were considered extra special by their teachers.
Joseph’s essay was about sharks and Betsy’s about her beautiful school. English is a new language for Betsy, having come recently from Costa Rica.
Delaney reported that the robotics program is evolving quickly and that many children are interested in it and the competition associated with it. Rancho Santa Fe students recently competed at Lego Land with 55 other schools and came in sixth.
“That’s pretty good for a first time,” Ritto said.
The County Office of Education is installing a new system that keeps track of human resources, payroll, accounting and reporting to which Rancho Santa Fe can plug into. It will cost the district $55,000, but it is needed because Rancho Santa Fe is small and needs a reliable system for those functions.