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San Diego Unified moves closer to naming a new superintendent

The San Diego Unified School District Board of Education building is shown in this photo, Sept. 15, 2017.
Milan Kovacevic
The San Diego Unified School District Board of Education building is shown in this photo, Sept. 15, 2017.

The San Diego Unified School District is closer to naming a new Superintendent.

The district’s Search Advisory Committee prepared a final proposal for the Board of Education to review Tuesday evening. After eight months of reviewing candidates, the committee now has a list of 10 people the board should interview.

Committee Chairman Christopher Rice-Wilson said all candidates were pressed on their plans for dealing with the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.


“I will project we’ll still be in a pandemic in January when they take the helm,” Wilson said. “They will have to deal with that and parent’s dissatisfaction over the handling of the safety — or over handling of the safety of their children and their students.”

The district of more than 100,000 students has been operating with an interim superintendent since last summer when Cindy Marten resigned the position after being appointed Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education.

In February, the board adopted a Superintendent Recruitment and Selection Process that included the establishment of an Advisory Committee, reflecting the diversity of the district's students and the San Diego Community, and called for community engagement to identify what is most important to stakeholders in selecting the district's next permanent superintendent.

The hiring process will continue next month as the selection committee also recommended the final top 3 candidates be available for questioning by students, staff, and parents in a hybrid virtual and in-person community forum Jan. 10.

"The person who comes in and takes this job is going to have to be able to deal with crises, and also have a plan to sustain successes, and a plan to deal with the gaps that exist in San Diego Unified," Wilson said.

The child care industry has long been in crisis, and COVID-19 only made things worse. Now affordable, quality care is even more challenging to find, and staff are not paid enough to stay in the field. This series spotlights people each struggling with their own childcare issues, and the providers struggling to get by.