RSF school board gives positive review of superintendent’s first year

Superintendent Donna Tripi joined the Rancho Santa Fe School District in January 2019.
(Karen Billing)

Superintendent Donna Tripi is approaching the one year mark as the new leader of the Rancho Santa Fe School District. The school board recently sent a message to families about the leadership transition, which they feel has been positive.

Tripi was selected after a six-month search following the departure of Superintendent David Jaffe in July 2018. The former principal at La Jolla Elementary School was considered the “stand out” among a field of 23 candidates, bringing 30 years of experience in education.

RSF School District Superintendent Donna Tripi

“We were all very excited to find Ms. Tripi. She had a successful track record leading a similar high-achieving, highly recognized, small, community school,” Neal said. “She demonstrated the qualities deemed important by both the board and the community, including strong instructional leadership skills.”

According to the board, Tripi has already made significant progress toward the board’s priorities which include excellence and continued improvement in the areas of budget, curriculum, academic achievement, safety, social and emotional learning, and communication. She recommended shifts in the school’s administration and a realignment in teaching positions that resulted in layoffs that caused controversy in the spring. This fall, school board meetings have been very quiet.

“Ms. Tripi’s thorough and thoughtful approach, instructional leadership expertise, community-building efforts, hard work, and dedication have paid off well,” the board stated in its message. “She has been successful in many arenas including supporting higher student achievement, realigning resources and eliminating the budget deficit, and leading fiscal planning in deferred maintenance and technology, all while maintaining the long-standing district priorities of small class size, robust enrichment, and individualized, high-quality instruction.”

Neal said the board is working well together and with Superintendent Tripi, “We look forward to continued progress.”

The board’s last superintendent evaluation was held in a closed session in September. Tripi’s formal annual evaluation will be held in June 2020.