SRHS Community Members Weigh in on the Search for the Next Superintendent


Sarah Gorton, Contributor

San Rafael City Schools’ board of trustees made the decision last month to end the current Superintendent’s contract in June of 2019, prompting the search for someone to fill the role. The district has not seen a new superintendent since 2007. Administrator, teachers, parents, and students at SRHS are now voicing strong opinions surrounding the matter.

“Students change, parents change, and our society is always evolving. We need to keep pace with our work in order to meet all families with a welcoming yet effective approach,” says Armando Oseguera, one of the counselors at SRHS.

Leadership Associates, an executive search firm, was hired to advise the Board through the hiring process. To include the community’s voice, the Board made an online survey available through April 5th, which asked questions concerning the personal and leadership characteristics, as well as experienced, desired in the next superintendent.  

Ms. Gonzalez, a teacher at SRHS, said that the district needs a superintendent who will, “really get out to the classrooms and see what is happening instead of relying on the reporting out of administrators.”

“In the new superintendent, I would like a strong leader. I would like someone that is very kid-friendly and kid-focused, because the whole objective of running a school district is to make sure that your students get the necessary tools and the necessary equipment they need to be successful,” said Ben Johnson, the head of security at SRHS.

Dominga Bruciati, a parent of an SRHS student, called for, “somebody who is there to represent and be a voice for the students and teachers.” She also asked for the next superintendent to, “not be involved in the politics of high school.”

Jen Hatch, who is heavily involved with the SRHS parent community, was looking for a superintendent that could be, “an inspirational leader that will partner with our community to elevate education for every student.”

Students at SRHS were more forward with their responses. In fact, multiple students revealed pockets of mistrust within the community. One SRCS student called for the new superintendent to, “fix the tyrannical mindset of the administration at all the schools because currently they view students as unintelligent delinquents that need to be controlled instead of actual human beings.”

“I think the next superintendent should be someone who can relate more to the students and advocate for the students,” said Jessa Josephson, a senior at SRHS.

Alexis Schnurpfeil, a senior at SRHS, was looking for a superintendent who would, “listen to what the students have to say and take that into account when taking decisions.”

A freshman at SRHS, Marcus Engelbrecht said, “In the next superintendent I would like to see a person who is more allowing of kids to choose classes that are better fit to their lifestyle and their drive to become something later in life.”

Others were more so focused on the new superintendent’s ability to, “be on top of new policies issued by the state and do more school check in’s.”

“I feel like they can move better around listening to the kids, and taking their opinions in, and letting them know that their opinion is heard,” said Elias Kaplan, a junior at SRHS.

“I am looking for a superintendent who can lead with as much enthusiasm and honor as possible,” said McKenna Tuatagaloa.

Once the search firm has sorted through different nominees, the Board will have interviews with the finalists on May 29 with hopes of then approving a contract that will begin July 1st. The Board has made it clear, however, that the search will not be rushed to meet these deadlines. The next superintendent will be responsible for the administration and management of all district operations, making this a crucial decision that is being taken very seriously by the Board.