By Marsha Sutton
Senior education writer
David Jaffe, San Dieguito Union High School District executive director of curriculum and assessment, has resigned his position to become principal at Chabad Hebrew Academy, a private Jewish day school in Scripps Ranch serving students from preschool to eighth grade.
Jaffe, former Canyon Crest Academy principal who opened CCA in 2004 and left to serve at the district office in 2007, said he’s leaving SDUHSD for the opportunity to work directly with children and help grow a school that he said has a “great foundation” but is ready to move to the next level.
Chabad Hebrew Academy serves about 300 students from all parts of the county, with about one-third residing in Carmel Valley, said head of school Rabbi Josef Fradkin. Fradkin said he and his staff are thrilled to welcome Jaffe as their new principal.
Jaffe said he was impressed at how the school was being run and was attracted to the people, the organization and the sense of community. “It’s a totally different opportunity and a totally different environment completely,” he said.
But it’s the direct contact with children and being at a school that he’s missed the most. “I absolutely love working with kids,” he said. Jaffe said he plans to build the middle school and “maybe put a structure in place to expand into high school.”
Jaffe started at San Dieguito in 1993 as a teacher, then an assistant principal, then principal, and finally his current position which he’s held for four years.
“I’ve been in the district for 17 years, and leaving it is tough,” he said. “It’s where I grew up professionally, and I will always remember the friends I’ve made and the colleagues I’ve worked with. That doesn’t go away.”
Beth Hergesheimer, SDUHSD school board president, said, “We’re disappointed we can’t keep him. It’s our loss, their gain, definitely.”
“I take with me 17 wonderful years,” Jaffe said. “I’ve learned so much, and I get to share that with the school I’m going to.”
A notice was sent to district staff members on Monday from SDUHSD supt. Ken Noah, notifying them of Jaffe’s departure, effective July 1. “David has been a valued member of my leadership team, and I’ll miss him greatly,” Noah’s message said.
Taking Jaffe’s place will be San Dieguito Academy high school principal Mike Grove. Noah said the district will begin advertising for Grove’s replacement immediately.