OCEANSIDE — The Oceanside Unified School District has its new superintendent.
On June 26, the board voted 4-1 to appoint Dr. Julie Vitale to the position. Vitale, 49, formerly held the same position at the Romoland School District, a 4,000-student elementary district near Riverside.
She replaces Dr. Duane Coleman, who retires on June 30 and Vitale starts July 1. Dr. Reggie Thompkins was the interim superintendent.
Vitale will earn $250,000 with benefits of $18,635 annually and is eligible for a $7,090 stipend for earning a doctoral degree. District Board of Education member Ortiz Wichmann was the lone no vote, as she cited a concern over Vitale’s salary.
“Dr. Vitale’s leadership and proven track record is a welcome addition to our district,” said Board of Education President Ann Corwin. “She will bring a new perspective to the district and is committed to seeing students flourish in our schools and in the community.”
Vitale’s career spans 26 years as a teacher, assistant principal, principal and district administrator. She was the assistant superintendent at Monrovia Unified School District and held leadership positions in the Coronoa-Norco Unified School District.
In addition, Vitale is also an adjunct professor at Concordia University.
While she starts on July 1, Vitale said her first 90 days will be centered on meeting staff and stakeholders, visiting the schools and collaborating with those individuals to create goals and expectations.
The district currently has more than 18,000 students, while Vitale’s current district is 4,000. Nevertheless, her time at Corona-Norco had more than 54,000 students, so moving up to a larger district does not intimidate her.
She said her move to Oceanside from Romoland was due to the potential of the city and district with its innovation and student body. She said the diverse community and student population is in her wheelhouse, noting Oceanside Unified’s demographics are similar to her current district.
“This is an amazing place,” Vitale said. “It’s the whole package for I what I want to experience.”
Steve Puterski covers Carlsbad and Vista. For tips or story ideas, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @StevePuterski.