Solana Beach board excited to welcome new superintendent

The Solana Beach School District board unanimously approved the appointment of its new superintendent Jodee Brentlinger at its June 14 meeting. The board agreed to a four-year contract with an annual salary of $215,000 plus benefits, set to start on July 1, the official first day of Superintendent Terry Decker’s retirement.

New Solana Beach School District Superintendent Jodee Brentlinger. courtesy

Brentlinger comes to Solana Beach from the Ocean View School District in Huntington Beach, where she served as the assistant superintendent for educational services. A California educator for 30 years, she began her career as an elementary and middle school teacher in the Capistrano Unified School District. She has served in various site and district level leadership roles, including elementary assistant principal and principal, director of teacher development, executive director of personnel services, assistant superintendent of personnel, and assistant superintendent of educational services.

“The Solana Beach School District is known for its student success, its dedicated teachers and staff, strong leadership, and its supportive parent community. This, along with many other areas of identified strength, drew me to the district,” said Brentlinger via email. “I am honored to be selected as superintendent and look forward to working together with all stakeholders to further the district’s outstanding reputation.”

Brentlinger was found through a national search conducted by the firm of Hazard, Young and Attea (HYA). HYA held workshops with district parents, teachers and staff and conducted an online survey to develop a profile of the kind of leader Solana Beach was looking for.

“We took the leadership profile that was gathered through our search firm very, very seriously and we think we nailed it,” SBSD President Debra Schade said.

Twenty-nine applicants applied for the position and candidates were evaluated through a series of interviews with search consultants Suzette Lovely and Joe Farley, and the board. The last step was a visit to Brentlinger’s current work site in Huntington Beach on June 7.

Schade and SBSD Vice President Julie Union met with several groups of people to talk about Brentlinger, including Ocean View principals and administrative staff, the superintendent and two board members, parents and community members, and a group of classified teachers, some from Ocean View and some from her previous district in Capistrano.

“What was so meaningful was that people went out of their way to be there for her. They had so many positive and wonderful things to say,” Union said. “I felt really great about her before we went up and hearing everybody speak about how collaborative she is, how positive she is, makes me even more excited to have her join us.”