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San Diego Unified Begins Search For New School Superintendent

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Aired 3/12/10

The search for a permanent superintendent in the San Diego Unified School District is officially underway. Trustees are charting a new course in picking a new leader.

— The search for a permanent superintendent in the San Diego Unified School District is officially underway. Trustees are charting a new course in picking a new leader.

San Diego Unified's 15-member superintendent search committee met for the first time at district headquarters on March 11, 2010.
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Above: San Diego Unified's 15-member superintendent search committee met for the first time at district headquarters on March 11, 2010.

"WANTED: A proven leader and strong manager who can foster and maintain positive and productive relationships."

That's highlighted in district job postings for a new superintendent.

t’s now up to a 15-member superintendent search committee to sift through all of the candidates who apply. The panel is made up of a diverse group of community members -- from the president of the teachers union to a high school student.

School trustee Richard Barrera says the panel represents the people of San Diego.

“This is a committee of citizens who are volunteering their time to come and listen to the community in town hall forums, process what the committee is looking for in terms of qualities, and get us down to a list of seven,” Barrera said.

The school board will then pick three finalists before picking a new leader.

School trustees are opting to rely on this committee versus a headhunting firm. Trustees say the district has a better chance of keeping the next superintendent if he or she is supported by the community.

San Diego Unified critic Jim Varnadore told the new search committee to do a good job.

“My request of you today ladies and gentleman is simply this, please don't screw this up,” Varnadore said.

So far only three applications have been submitted for the superintendent’s job. However district officials expect the small pile to grow over the next few weeks.

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