Only a month after the sudden voluntary departure of former Rancho Santa Fe School District Superintendent David Jaffe, the school board faced another shockwave of change. Board President Todd Frank stepped down effective on Aug. 10 with three more months left until his seat was up for re-election.
During a special board meeting on Aug. 17, board Vice President Tyler Seltzer explained that due to the timing of Frank’s resignation, the seat would remain empty for the remainder of his term until the Nov. 6 election.
“We lost our board president, so it’s recommended that we appoint a new board president,” Seltzer said. “But before we do that, I want to thank Todd for almost eight years of long and steady service to the district.”
He went on to say that Frank would be missed.
Board member Scott Kahn said he appreciated how Seltzer stepped in as vice president.
“I just think both on merit but also for the sake of consistency I’d like to make a motion to appoint you (Seltzer) as president of the board,” Kahn said.
Board clerk Sarah Neal said she was also supportive of Seltzer as president since he had district experience.
“This certainly is not the time for a rookie,” she said. “My one priority right now and going into the future is that we are very transparent and proactive with our communication from the board to the community.”
Neal made a second motion and Seltzer was voted in.
Next up, the board discussed the four firms vying for a consultant spot in the district’s superintendent search.
Kahn shared that Dr. George Cameron, a former superintendent for the National City school district, was a standout describing his as a boutique-style firm. Kahn believed there would be a different approach but with the same benefits.
“He (Dr. Cameron) was a longtime superintendent in National City — he’s different in the sense that he’s walked the talk and very successful,” Kahn said.
Kahn wanted to know Seltzer’s viewpoint since he had prior experience in selecting the last superintendent.
While Seltzer said he didn’t want to disparage any of the other firm candidates, he said for him the most telling thing is how easy it is to get caught up in the pizzazz of a firm’s huge presentation.
“What it comes down for me is that we want someone who can be as customized and personalized as possible in their dealings with candidates, when they talk to the board, and they meet with parents,” Seltzer said.
He also noted how the consultant would gather criteria through surveys and town halls.
“You want someone who has that personalized touch. To me, of the four (firms), it was clear that it was Dr. Cameron and his partner,” Seltzer said.
Neal noted Cameron’s willingness to have the board review all the applicants. She went on to say how some firms only offer the board their “top five” picks so she appreciated that Cameron would bring all potential candidates to the table.
“I thought that was really important,” she said.
The board unanimously approved Cameron and his partner as its consultant to lead their superintendent search.
Until a new superintendent is hired, Principal Kim Pinkerton will continue to serve as the interim superintendent as decided during a special meeting on July 23. On Aug. 3, the board approved a temporary interim assistant principal position to assist Pinkerton during this period of transition.
Seltzer wants parents and community members to know that a page has been created on the district’s website to keep people up-to-date on the superintendent search. This information can be found at rsfschool.net.