UPDATED: La Jolla High principal reassigned following damaging audit; meeting for parents to be held Tuesday, Aug. 6

Dana Shelburne was the La Jolla High School principal for 18 years. Photo by Daniel K. Lew

Replacement principal discussion
When: Tuesday, Aug. 6, 10:30 a.m.-12 noon
Where: La Jolla High School, 750 Nautilus St. (room location will be listed on signs)

As first reported by  U-T San Diego, longtime La Jolla High Principal Dana Shelburne was reassigned late Tuesday, July 30 following an audit of the school’s ASB accounts that found an array missing or misappropriated school money.

An auditor with the San Diego Unified School District says his 52-page audit of La Jolla High School’s associated student body funds is the longest and most negative the district has encountered.

Chief among the 60 negative findings in the July 2 report is that a school clerk, who resigned in February when the audit began, removed more than $25,000 in funds earmarked for student activities, using accounting ruses to cover up the loss.

The report also found that when paying a construction company for football field repairs, Shelburne transferred $26,000 from an ASB account to his own discretionary account. The work, including construction of a wall, drainage and waterproofing, should have been covered by district funds.

After serving 18 years as La Jolla High’s principal, Shelburne was reassigned as a school construction liaison by Superintendent Cindy Marten, who made the announcement at the end of the July 30 Board of Education meeting.

In a statement released Thursday, Aug. 1, Marten said that Shelburne had accepted the position in the district construction program, funded by bond monies made available by propositions Z and S.

“One of my goals is to provide instructional liaisons to our construction projects to make sure they are aligned with what’s best for children,” said Superintendent Marten in the statement. “In filling this role as School Construction Liaison, Mr. Shelburne will bring his 18-plus years as a site administrator to ensure that this view is part of the school design project.”

San Diego Unified School District Communications Director Linda Zintz told La Jolla Light an interim principal will be named while the district begins the process of identifying a new La Jolla High principal.

A meeting has been held for parents to offer their input on the selection of a new principal from 10:30 a.m. to 12 noon, Tuesday, Aug. 6 at La Jolla High School, 750 Nautilus St. (the room number will be listed on directional signs on campus).

A note e-mailed by the district to La Jolla High parents said, “The process of hiring a principal is fairly complex and takes three to four weeks, minimum. Our Area Superintendent, Dr. Julie Martel, is anxious to have the position filled before the school year begins. That doesn’t leave us much time.

“Dr. Martel will be holding a meeting at LJHS to gather ideas from parents on what you believe to be the unique qualities and experience the incoming principal will need to successfully lead La Jolla High School. This ‘site criteria’ for the new principal will be used in the interview and hiring process. … Dr. Martel values the ideas and opinions of the families of La Jolla High School’s students. Your input would be greatly appreciated. If you are unable to attend and have input, please send an email to Dr. Martel at: jmartel@sandi.net

Zintz told the Light that, ideally, the new principal will be in place by Sept. 3, the first day of school.

Shelburne issued his own statement to parents late Wednesday, July 31, which read, in part, “Although I did not seek out the (school construction liaison) position, I believe I have much to offer given my background with all the construction at LJHS, Muirlands (Middle School) and elsewhere.

“I have spoken with the superintendent about the need for a transition plan as well as a meeting of all stakeholders around qualities desired in a new principal. Our area superintendent, Dr. Julie Martel, is already in the process of scheduling these meetings. You will receive information when the meetings are confirmed.

“Obviously, this is a difficult decision, as I have come to love LJHS and everyone associated with it. However, this is a chance to work for the greater good of the district, and I feel the need to pursue this opportunity.”

— Staff Reports


La Jolla High clerk responsible for more than $25,000 in missing ASB funds. STORY at http://www.lajollalight.com/?p=110323

The Principal’s Office: Meet Dana Shelburne. La Jolla High principal is proud of school’s landscape, autonomy gains. VIDEO and STORY at http://www.lajollalight.com/?p=103171

Related posts:

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  4. Families gather for fun at La Jolla Elementary School
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Short URL: http://www.lajollalight.com/?p=110973

Posted by Pat Sherman on Aug 1, 2013. Filed under Featured Story, La Jolla, News, Schools. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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