REGION — San Dieguito Union High School District Superintendent Rick Schmitt is leaving the district to take the same position at a prominent Northern California school district, the district announced Tuesday.
Schmitt, a longtime district employee who has been the top administrator since 2013, was hired to lead the San Ramon Valley Unified School District, which serves 32,000 K-12 students in Contra Costa County.
Schmitt’s will resign his current post on June 30 and assume his new position July 1, pending approval by the San Ramon Valley school board, according to a district news release.
“I am humbled and extremely grateful to have been selected to lead the SRVUSD,” Schmitt said. “I will always be grateful to the SDUHSD community for all it has done for my family, as both my children graduated from Torrey Pines High School.”
During his tenure as superintendent, Schmitt oversaw the largest building and modernization campaign in the district’s recent history, which paid for with proceeds from Proposition AA, a $448 million voter-approved school bond measure.
The largest of the projects, the brand new Pacific Trails Middle School in Torrey Highlands, opens its doors in the fall.
Schmitt served three years as principal of Torrey Pines High School, six years as associate superintendent of educational services and one year as deputy superintendent before becoming superintendent in 2013.
Much like San Dieguito Union, San Ramon Valley services an affluent population. Danville, one of the largest cities in the school district, is one of the 25 wealthiest cities in the state, according to published reports.
But San Ramon Valley has nearly three times the number of students as San Dieguito, whose enrollment hovers around 12,000.
The Bay Area school district employs nearly 3,500 people and hires 250 to 300 employees per year, and has an annual operating budget of over $300 million for the 2016-17 school year. The district receives $17 million per year in parent and private donations, and $6.7 million per year from a local parcel tax.
The news of Schmitt’s departure caught school board members by surprise. Board president Beth Ann Hergesheimer praised him for his 13 years of service to the school district.
“Mr. Schmitt has been a tremendous asset to the District and I am sad to see him go.” Hergesheimer said, “I understand this is an amazing opportunity for Mr. Schmitt and his family, and know that he will do the same fabulous work in San Ramon as he did here at San Dieguito.”
The Coast News will have more on this story shortly.