Former superintendent Lindy Delaney returns as RSF School board consultant

R. Roger Rowe School.
(Karen Billing)

The Rancho Santa Fe School District has brought back former longtime superintendent Lindy Delaney to serve as an independent consultant as the district goes through a leadership transition. The board voted unanimously to hire Delaney, who retired five years ago, with a contract not to exceed $25,000 at a special board meeting on Dec. 12.

RSF School Board President John Tree said they reached out to Delaney to help guide them through their ongoing search for a new superintendent, their top priority as a school board.

“The primary reason for myself is to hearken back to when Roger Rowe was different than it is now…everybody hearkens back to the good old days. I think we have enough objective data that says we were different before and different in a better way,” Tree said, noting declines in academics and morale. “We need to find our way back to that spot.”

The board members individually have been using Delaney as a valuable resource and the board’s action essentially codifies a consulting agreement with her. Board members said she brings a lot of wisdom and is well-respected in the community.

Clerk Annette Ross said her personal conversations with Delaney have provided so much information, context and understanding which she believes have already made her a better board member.

“My only aim as a board member is to bring all this together and to make the school a wonderful, lovely experience for the kids,” Ross said

Delaney spent a total of 30 years in the district as a teacher, coach and administrator—she was first hired as a teacher in 1986 by Dr. R. Roger Rowe and served as superintendent for 12 years. After she retired in 2016, the then-board appointed Delaney as a special advisor to former Superintendent David Jaffe for the first five months of his term.

Delaney was also considered as a consultant when Kim Pinkerton was serving as an interim superintendent in 2018 but the board did not take action.

“At the risk of sounding dramatic, no one on the planet knows this district more than Lindy Delaney,” trustee Jee Manghani said. “I think Lindy will be a great asset to us.”

Superintendent Donna Tripi, whose resignation is effective in June, will remain in her position until a replacement is found. The firm of McPherson and Jacobson is leading the district’s ongoing superintendent search, at a cost not to exceed $16,400.