Rancho Santa Fe School board has a new trustee


By Karen Billing

Staff Writer

A R. Roger Rowe School graduate has joined the Rancho Santa Fe School District Board of Trustees. Tyler Seltzer was appointed to the board after a public interview session at the Sept. 12 special meeting. Six candidates applied for the spot left vacant after member Jim Cimino moved out of the district: Karen Buss, Lori Cooper, Robert Jaffe, Lorraine Kent and Heather Slosar.

“I hope nobody walks away disappointed,” board member Jim Depolo said before Seltzer’s selection. “You’re all involved in the school today and we’re lucky to have you as parents and supporters in any position.”

Seltzer was sworn in by district superintendent Lindy Delaney and immediately took his seat at the board table.

“Right to work, I like it that way,” Seltzer said as he joined the board at the table.

Seltzer and his wife grew up in Rancho Santa Fe and moved their family of three children back to the area a year-and-a-half ago.

Seltzer’s background includes working for his family business, Seltzer Companies, a manufacturer and distributor of food and beverage ingredients. He spent 10 years with the company before it was sold in 2006. Selling the business allowed him the “freedom and flexibility” to spend more time with his children and pursue interests such as the school board position, he said.

All six candidates were asked the same five questions during the interview session.

Two of the questions involved hypothetical situations that asked what the candidate would do if a neighbor and good friend came to the board member wanting to vent about school issues.

Seltzer said he would certainly listen to the parent’s concern but would not discuss the issue and encourage them to go to the teacher, principal or superintendent.

“I would indicate to them that ‘I appreciate you coming to me and I want to talk but because of the position I’m in now, I can’t give you an answer, positive or negative,’” said Seltzer.

One question asked what the candidates would like to see changed at the school or district. Candidate Cooper mentioned keeping curriculum consistent and Slosar said she would like to work on retaining students through middle school instead of seeing families depart for private school.

“As far as I know this is a tremendous place with amazing things happening. Rather than being agents of change we should be stewards of something moving in a positive direction,” Seltzer said.

Whether it is music, language arts or more technology, Seltzer said their job as board members is to make sure students continue to be exposed to the best offerings possible.

Seltzer indicated that it was his hope to officially run for the seat when the term expires in November 2012.