ENCINITAS — The San Dieguito Union High School District has agreed to ratify the temporary employment contract of Interim Superintendent Lucile Lynch as it also begins its search for a more permanent superintendent.
Lynch has made it known she fully expects to only be in the position for a limited time and does not have interest in a permanent position.
The contract, signed by Lynch and Board President Maureen Muir and ratified by a vote of 4-1, will pay Lynch $1,100 per day worked but entitles her to no health and welfare benefits. Trustee Katrina Young cast the lone no vote.
In explaining her vote against the ratification, Young said that while she has known Lynch for some time as a member of the SDUHSD community, she felt it was more important to stand with her original objectives and hopes for an interim superintendent.
“I admire all the work that you’ve done and I also admire how well we’ve worked together,” Young said. “But if I have to stay true to my original intent of what I wanted for a superintendent and the intents of the Education Code, I’m going to vote no. But I want you to know it’s in my role as a trustee and not my personal role.”
Normally a requirement for the position under the Education Code is a teaching or administrative credential but the requirement was waived in Lynch’s case who does not hold any type of credential.
As part of that waiver, Lynch has been given and will continue to receive the proper training and education from the district.
“Everyone’s been terrific. I mean everyone has made themselves readily available,” Lynch said. “I really am thankful for their expertise.”
Maybe the biggest issue that plagued the previous superintendent was their lacking communication ability that some in the district saw as a source of conflict that has been brewing for well over a year inside the district.
District parent Heather Dugdale spoke to that issue during the public comments.
“We have a huge social media and media problem in this district and it needs to be addressed appropriately and professionally and that has not been done,” Dugdale said. “By her own admission, Ms. Lynch is here for a short time and she’s here to listen and try to bridge communication gaps. We’ve seen that since her tenure began.”
It is a very tumultuous time for the San Dieguito district, with possibly two separate out-of-cycle elections for trustee seats on the horizon, plans to make for the coming semester with the still ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, upcoming labor negotiations with the teacher’s association, a search for a permanent superintendent and much more on the table.
With that, Muir attempted to ease some possible anxiety district parents may be feeling by showing her confidence in Lynch as an interim district leader.
“I want the parents to know and our community to know that we have chosen someone that is going to be respectful, respectful of our employees,” Muir said. “We’ve had a bad year but we are definitely coming out of it and we’ve chosen someone that is going to take us there.”
The board also voted in a unanimous vote to move forward with a superintendent search in which the board will review all Requests for Proposals from search firms before coming to a decision on the firm that will aid the district in its nationwide search for a permanent superintendent.