Outreach continues on RSF School District superintendent search

R. Roger Rowe School
(Karen Billing)

The Rancho Santa Fe School District’s search for its new superintendent continues with an online survey, following open community forums held last week.

With an accelerated search process, the board is aiming to select the new superintendent by February 2023, someone who would be able to start leading the district sometime between March and July.

The three community outreach meetings were held the week of Nov. 28 with William Huyett of the search firm McPherson and Jacobson. Huyett also met with small groups that included teachers, classified staff, union leadership, students and the Rancho Santa Fe Education Foundation to gather input.

At each open session, Huyett asked participants about the good things about the community and school as well as the issues a superintendent should be aware of. He asked each group what qualities, skills and characteristics the new superintendent should possess to be successful in Rancho Santa Fe.

At the Nov. 30 morning session, one parent said the attrition of district leadership has been detrimental for the school and has resulted in a fragmented community. Other issues include dissatisfaction with the academic rigor of the middle school, concerns about safety practices and bullying. There has also been a lot of discussion at the school site council level about pedagogy and what parents want for the school with advanced learning options.

As far as what parents are looking for in a superintendent, one said they are hoping for a leader who can unify the community and raise the morale of the teaching staff. They said they want someone who is creative and innovative, someone with an entrepreneurial spirit who can build solutions from within and who has an independent voice and the courage to challenge the state when necessary.

Parents were looking for a superintendent who is fiscally responsible, accessible, engaging and who really listens to their constituents.

One parent said he was disappointed by the low turnout at the meetings—there were seven people in attendance on Nov. 30 and he said many of the same parents attended multiple sessions. Huyett encouraged parents and community members to continue to provide input via the online survey at

Applications for the RSF School District position will be accepted through Jan. 11 and the board will interview the top candidates on Jan. 23. A 15-member stakeholder panel made up of staff, parents and one student will also conduct a highly structured interview of the candidates.