RSF School District superintendent to resign next year

RSF School Superintendent Donna Tripi speaks at the 2022 graduation ceremony.
(Jon Clark)

Rancho Santa Fe Superintendent Donna Tripi has announced that she will be resigning from her position at the end of the school year. In a message shared with families on Aug. 8, she stated she has decided to leave when her contract expires on June 30, 2023.

“I will be pursuing other opportunities next year. I look forward to working with you this school year to continue our efforts to ensure that our students thrive,” Tripi wrote. “I will also be working with the board over this school year to provide a very thoughtful transition.”

Tripi was hired by the board in 2018 following the departure of David Jaffe, who resigned after two years. She came to the district from La Jolla Elementary School, where she served as principal for 19 years.

Tripi has been praised by the board and parents for keeping the school open during the pandemic, one of the first districts in San Diego County to reopen for in-person instruction in fall 2020. She faced criticism for laying off teachers in 2019 in order to balance the budget and, recently, some parents have expressed concerns over advanced programs at the school and security following the arrest of a substitute teacher on child pornography charges.

The board conducted superintendent evaluations in closed session on June 3 and July 22.

During public comment at the board’s Aug. 12 meeting, parent Julie Buechler said there were a lot of emotions about Tripi’s departure and questions about the transition.

“I’m asking our community to come together and not be divided during this time,” Buechler said. “I’m very grateful for Donna’s service but I also recognize that we’re at a time where we desperately need leadership above all else.”