Marti Ritto named new president of Rancho Santa Fe School board

By Karen Billing

The new president of the Rancho Santa Fe School board is Marti Ritto, nominated by trustee Richard Burdge. Burdge in turn was named the board’s vice president and was sworn in to his post along with incumbent Tyler Seltzer.

New board member Todd Buchner was sworn in and immediately took his seat at the board table at the meeting.

At the Dec. 13 special meeting, the board also set the schedule for its meetings in 2013. The board will meet on the first Thursday of each month, except for Jan. 10, July 11, Sept. 12 and Dec. 12, in which meetings will be held on the second Thursday.

The Dec. 13 Rancho Santa Fe School board’s special meeting marked the end of an era for outgoing president Jim Depolo, as he stepped down after 10 years serving the district.

Superintendent Lindy Delaney said, “words don’t express” the gratitude she has on behalf of the district for the work Depolo put in to make the school a better place.

“What guided me most was always knowing that it’s about the kids,” Depolo said. “When you keep that in mind everything seems to work out.”

Depolo expressed his appreciation for his fellow board members: his colleague for eight years Richard Burdge; “peppy” Marti Ritto who he said is full of energy and gives so much to the school; Todd Frank, who Depolo said brings balance to the board with his questions and enthusiasm; and Tyler Seltzer who, according to Depolo, did not hesitate to participate and add to the discussion when he was initially appointed to the board to replace a board member who moved out of town. (Seltzer was then elected by voters to serve another term on the board this past November.)

Depolo also welcomed new board member Todd Buchner, saying Buchner reminded him a lot of himself—a parent new to the community who was willing to get right to work on the board.

“I think you guys will do well,” Depolo told the board. “I also appreciate the staff, the teachers and the parents — as a community they all make the school better.”

Depolo became choked up when he started speaking about Superintendent Delaney.

“Lindy puts so much into this school — her heart and soul,” Depolo said. “You can’t appreciate her enough, you really can’t.”