The Rancho Santa Fe School District board will collaborate with a search firm to find a new superintendent, following the unexpected departure of David Jaffe, announced July 9.
At its July 12 meeting, the five-member board unanimously approved the district's request for a search firm, but declined to elaborate on the reason for Jaffe's voluntary resignation after he served two years as the district’s superintendent.
"I know it's been sudden, and a lot of people are concerned," said board member Sarah Neal, adding that she aims to advocate for transparency in the district. "We're not at liberty to talk about details for legal reasons."
Members of the Rancho Santa Fe Faculty Association (RSFFA) spoke in support of Jaffe and urged the board to involve the community in the hiring process of a new superintendent, as they did two years ago before Jaffe's hiring.
Amanda Valentine, a fourth-grade teacher at R. Roger Rowe Elementary School and secretary of the RSFFA, said Jaffe's resignation has "shocked and concerned” the teachers of the Rancho Santa Fe School District. She said Jaffe "ensured all stakeholders in our district had a voice” and added Jaffe utilized surveys and programs and principal evaluations to improve the district.
"We are grateful for the foundation and hard work achieved in the past two years by David," Valentine said. "These crucial programs and team collaboration represent essential components that are utilized by high-achieving districts throughout the county and state."
The board said it would aim to continue community involvement in the process, with Neal considering the district "a special place with special people."
"One person, as much as he or she will be missed, is not going to break that," she said.
Prior to Jaffe's resignation, the board held five closed session superintendent evaluations in June and July.
Jaffe was named the superintendent in August 2016, coming from the San Dieguito Union High School District where he was principal of Torrey Pines High School. He replaced Lindy Delaney, who served as superintendent for 12 years and worked a total of 30 years at the school district.