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Next SRCS Leader

Upcoming Community Forums

March 19, 2019 Update


San Rafael City Schools invites you to assist with their search for the District’s next Superintendent.

The San Rafael City Schools Board of Education is in the process of conducting a search for purposes of hiring the District’s next Superintendent. The consultants Rich Thome and Kent Bechler of Leadership Associates were selected to advise the Board in this important process. They will be in our District from March 26 - 27, 2019 to facilitate several sessions with various groups within our District’s community to receive input about the desired qualities and characteristics of the next Superintendent. This input will be a valuable contribution to the recruitment and selection process. 

The Board is soliciting responses to the following questions: 

  1. What personal and professional qualities for an incoming superintendent will be a match for the San Rafael City Schools? 
  2. What are the strengths of the District, and what are the challenges you see for the District in the coming years?

In addition to the various sessions, the District will be hosting Open Forums, which are open to all the public. No appointment is necessary to participate. The Open Forums are an opportunity for the public to provide input and to hear more about the search process. They are scheduled at various schools throughout the District, but all Open Forums are open to parents, teachers and staff from any school. The Open Forums will be held at: 


Sessions for Teachers and Staff
3:00 – 3:30 PM San Rafael High School Library
4:00 – 4:30 PM Davidson Middle School Library
3:00 – 3:30 PM Terra Linda High School Library



Sessions for Parents, Guardians and Community Members

Spanish interpretation provided

7:00 – 8:00 PM Bahia Vista Elementary MPR
7:00 – 8:00 PM Sun Valley Elementary MPR
8:15 – 9:15 AM Venetia Valley School MPR
9:00 – 9:45 AM Coleman Elementary MPR
5:15 – 6:00 PM Terra Linda High School Performance Hall 
7:00 – 8:00 PM San Rafael High School Cafeteria 

Additionally, an online survey is available on the District’s website until May 6, 2019.

You may also send your written responses to the two questions to Leadership Associates or request to speak with a consultant by sending an email to ppyle@leadershipassociates.org.

Board Selects Firm to Support Search Process

March 12 Update
At its meeting on March 11, the Board selected Leadership Associates, an executive search firm, to advise the Board in the process to identify and select the District's next superintendent. Rich Thome and Ken Bechler, Ph.D. will be the lead consultants. Click here to view Leadership Associate's proposal. Leadership Associates and the District will collaborate to ensure that the greater SRCS community is informed and engaged throughout the process. Stay tuned for more information.

Next Steps in Selection of a Superintendent

March 5 Update
At its meeting on Feb. 11, the Board voted not to grant a one-year extension of Superintendent Michael Watenpaugh's employment agreement, which expires on June 30, 2019. At the next meeting on Feb. 25, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Amy Buster Baer presented the Board with options for next steps in securing new leadership for the District, which include beginning the process of using a search firm to conduct a superintendent search or appointing an interim superintendent and conducting a search at a time later identified by the Board. 

Ms. Buster Baer highlighted what a search firm could provide to the District, such as support to the Board in developing the criteria and qualifications and the facilitation of the process for the input and engagement of to community – students, teachers, staff, parents, community members and others. The option of appointing an interim superintendent for the 2019-20 school year was also discussed, with the understanding that the Board would begin the search process for a superintendent during the next school year. At a follow up meeting on March 1, the Board continued to discuss the options and an updated timeline for a superintendent search was reviewed. Click here to download the presentation, which includes the original and updated timelines.  

The Board authorized the District to begin the process of selecting a superintendent search firm. They also emphasized that while the process to select a firm will begin immediately, they want to ensure that SRCS finds the best person for the role and for the District. This means the Board has the option to decide, if the search process is not on track to find the right leader, to appoint an interim superintendent and conduct and/or complete a search next year. To help lead the process for identifying the District's next leader, the Board appointed Board Vice President Maika Llorens Gulati and Trustee Linda Jackson to serve on a Board subcommittee. 

At its next meeting on March 11, during a special session from 5 - 6 pm that is open to members of the public, the Board will hear presentations from interested search firms and consider selecting a firm. If the Board were to select a firm and move on to the next steps, the firm and District will collaborate to ensure that the greater SRCS community is informed about the process and has the opportunity to provide input on what qualities and characters are desired for the new superintendent. 

Board Moves to End Superintendent's Employment Agreement at Close of 2018-19 School Year

Feb. 12 Update
At its meeting on February 11, 2019, the San Rafael City Schools (SRCS) Board of Education took action with a 3-2 vote to not grant a one-year extension of Superintendent Michael Watenpaugh's employment agreement, which expires on June 30, 2019. In their comments at the meeting, Board members shared that they made their decisions about the superintendent's performance evaluation and employment agreement based on the best interest of the District and our students. Dr. Watenpaugh has served as SRCS superintendent since 2007.

"I am so proud of the many successful initiatives and accomplishments that we as a SRCS community have achieved together to positively impact our students and families," said Superintendent Watenpaugh. "Serving as the superintendent for the past 12 years has been the highlight of my professional career and I am grateful to the Board of Education for providing me the opportunity to work on behalf of the students, families, teachers, staff and San Rafael community."

Over the next few months, the Board will determine their next steps in identifying the process and timeline for the recruitment and selection of SRCS's next leader.

"We are grateful for Dr. Watenpaugh's work on behalf of our students and families," said Board President Greg Knell. "He has brought powerful solutions to the unceasing challenges required to educate all our students. Under his leadership, SRCS has become the model of effectiveness and the proving ground for dozens of innovative programs designed to improve our educational outcomes."

He added, "As we begin the process to hire our next superintendent, we will be looking to find the best leader who can continue our path of innovation and excellence. We will be reaching out to engage every sector of the SRCS community to help us define what we will need to continue the outstanding achievement we expect from San Rafael City Schools."

The Board action follows the completion of a mid-year performance evaluation of superintendent Watenpaugh. The Board sought community input regarding the superintendent's performance and progress, and noted they are grateful for all the feedback they received from so many who are vested in SRCS. The Board also expressed their gratitude to the Marin County Office of Education for their support throughout the evaluation process.