UPDATED: San Diego Unified expands hiring search for La Jolla High principal

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La Jolla High parents offer suggestions for attributes they hope to see in the school's new principal during a meeting with district area superintendent Julie Martel on Aug. 6. At the time, Martel told parents the district hoped to have a principal hired by the start of the school year. File

• San Diego Unified School District to place La Jolla High principal ad in national education trade journals

By Pat Sherman

The search to find a new principal at La Jolla High School has taken longer than expected, with only two candidates from within the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) applying for the position since the job was first posted on the district’s website Aug. 9.

SDUSD is seeking a replacement for former La Jolla High principal Dana Shelburne, who was reassigned this summer following the release of a 52-page audit of the school’s associated student body funds that found an array of missing or misappropriated school funds.

The job was re-posted for the third time on the district’s website, Monday, Nov. 18. This time, it also appears on the national education job search website, EdJoin.org, as well as in the national education newspaper, Education Week, and in the publication of the Association of California School Administrators. The job postings will run through Dec. 20.

A selection committee comprised of parents, teachers, school administrators and at least one student desired more candidates to choose from, SDUSD Communications Director Linda Zintz said.

“They’re just hoping to get a larger pool of qualified candidates to draw from … to get the best qualified person,” Zintz said.

The job will remain advertised with a salary range of $65,650 to $93,795 (based on education and experience).

“Why more people from within the district did not apply, we really don’t have an answer,” Zintz said. “Maybe we’ll get some folks who are interested in moving to California.”

On Nov. 18, SDUSD Superintendent Cindy Marten issued a memo stating that the district now hopes to have a new principal in place sometime in January.

“It will depend upon the candidates we are able to recruit for the position,” Marten said, adding that Area Supervisor and search committee member Julie Martel will conduct a paper screening as soon as the position closes on Dec. 20, prior to winter break. “We will then be prepared to hold the interviews in early January, right after the holidays,” Marten said.

Pat Crowder will continue as interim principal through Dec. 20, and Carol Whaley will return as the interim principal in January until a permanent principal is selected and ready to begin.

“Please know that we are all working together to ... find the right leader we know our students, community and staff deserve,” Marten’s statement reads, in part. “We recognize that consistent, strong, stable leadership is the key to success for our students. I realize the impact of multiple transitions and interim assignments … (and) am confident that the time and thought we are putting into the selection process will have a long-term positive impact, even though it is creating a shorter term challenge.”

Meanwhile, the selection committee will interview candidates this week for a vice principal at La Jolla High, to replace former vice principal Margaret Joseph, who is now serving as the new principal of Kate Sessions Elementary School.

   
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