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Yonemitsu appointed to fill school district board opening

RANCHO SANTA FE — In a 4-0 vote on Oct. 23, members of the Rancho Santa Fe School District board named attorney Jon Yonemitsu to fill Marti Ritto’s seat. Ritto resigned on Sept. 13.

Yonemitsu has three children attending R. Roger Rowe.

On Oct. 16, the board interviewed five applicants — Yonemitsu, Kali Kim, Jee Manghani, Richard Shen and Elise Dufresne. The board took a week to make their decision.

Board member Sarah Neal, however, said she hoped that another round of interviews could take place before a one of the applicants was appointed.

“I had a hard time picking one that stood up above the rest,” she said. “I would like to have the opportunity to have a second round of interviews.”

Three of the five applicants were on Neal’s radar. She said a second round of interviews would be beneficial so that she could learn more about the potential board members’ priorities regarding school culture.

“That was my takeaway,” she said.

Neal asked the other board members how they felt about the issue.

Board member Scott Kahn that said that while that was interesting element, from a logistical standpoint, he had two trips scheduled. He preferred an appointment right away. Kahn also said he didn’t need additional time to decide.

“I was really impressed with the quality and diversity of individuals,” said Kahn, adding that they complemented the existing board members.

Kahn also noted it was nice to see applicants with children at R. Roger Rowe who were in higher and lower grades as well children who would start there soon.

At the meeting was Richard Courier, school district attorney. He indicated that an appointment had to be made within 60 days of receiving Ritto’s resignation letter

Board President Todd Frank said he didn’t need more time to appoint a new board member.

“I’m ready today,” Frank said.

Board member Tyler Seltzer also agreed that he was ready to choose one of the applicants. He encouraged the other applicants that were not chosen as the new board member to please stay involved in the school.

Seltzer made the motion to nominate Yonemitsu and all the others agreed. Neal echoed the same, saying how Yonemitsu was one of the three applicants she wanted to have in her proposed round of interviews in the board had agreed to it.

Following the 4-0 vote, Superintendent David Jaffe swore Yonemitsu into his new position.

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