March 1, 2024 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Santa Monica-Malibu School Board Selects Superintendent Search Firm: Board members previously voted to restores two nurse positions

The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District board on Monday night voted to select Leadership Associates as the search firm to find Superintendent Tim Cuneo’s successor.

The final contract, expected to be worth around $28,000, including all the costs, is likely to be presented to the board for final approval on Jan. 3, several board members told the Mirror.

A reference check is already underway for the firm, which counts a former Santa Monica High School vice principal among its executives, according to board member Ben Allen, who was selected to the board vice presidency at the Dec. 9 meeting, the first session with newly sworn-in members Laurie Lieberman and Nimish Patel. Board member Jose Escarce was elected board president.

“The board felt more comfortable with Leadership Associates than any of the other [firms],” said board member Oscar de la Torre. “[Now] we can get going to find the right candidates for the school district.”

Cuneo, who will leave the district June 30, 2011, when his current contract expires, had directed the board to solicit proposals from nine search firms and six of them followed through. On Dec. 13, the board heard presentations from Dave Long and Associates before Leadership Associates made their eventually winning bid.

The nature of the search firm presentations Monday night focused on the backgrounds and qualifications of its executives. Leadership Associates executives told the board they would assemble a “leadership profile” that would ensure “not only a superintendent that meets your needs, but will also be around for a while.” They expected to net 20 to 30 applicants and winnow the list down to six, then bring two candidates in to “have a conversation with the board,” according to a Leadership Associates executive who made the presentation before the board.

Last week, the board voted unanimously to restore two nurse positions at the cost of approximately $100,000 including salaries and benefits, according to de la Torre. The funding comes from the district’s general fund.

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