Terry Decker named new Solana Beach School District superintendent

Solana Beach School District
Solana Beach School District
(Kristina Houck)

The Solana Beach School Board has selected Terry Decker as the Solana Beach School District’s new superintendent. Decker currently serves as the district’s assistant superintendent of instructional services.

“I am truly honored to be selected as superintendent for our district,” Decker said. “Solana Beach is just truly a special and remarkable school district.”

Decker will step in for Superintendent Nancy Lynch, who announced April 21 she is returning to Northern California to assume the role of superintendent of a Bay Area school district.

Born in San Diego and raised on the East Coast, Decker has worked in education for more than 30 years, including two years at the San Diego County Office of Education.

Decker, who holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from West Chester University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree in educational administration from San Diego State University, began his career as a teacher. He joined the Solana Beach School Board as director of instruction in 2012 and was promoted to assistant superintendent the following year.

“I’ve been the assistant superintendent for the last two years and I was a director prior to that here in the district, so I know the culture of our school district, our schools and the programs we have in place,” said Decker, a Carlsbad resident. “I know where we’ve been and where we’re going. I’ve been a big piece of that progress in the last few years, so I think we can take everything that we’ve done, continue the progress and move forward.”

The school board’s decision was unanimous. The board is expected to officially approve Decker’s contract at the June 4 meeting.

“Mr. Decker possesses the values, skills and experience to lead Solana Beach School District and ensure our continued success,” said board president Vicki King in a letter to parents on May 21. “He has a genuine appreciation for the work of our teachers, administrative team and support staff. He values the culture of collaboration, collegiality and community engagement that makes Solana Beach School District such a remarkable place. Above all, he holds an unwavering belief that all students can learn and succeed.”

Lynch joined the district in April 2012.

Under Lynch’s leadership, the Solana Beach School District has transitioned to Common Core State Standards and championed STREAM (Science, Technology, Research, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) through STREAM-centered Discovery Labs.

In the fall, the district opened its seventh school, Solana Ranch Elementary School in Pacific Highlands Ranch.

Because Decker has played an integral part in the district’s recent successes, he said the change in leadership would be a “seamless transition.”

“One of the most important pieces is for us to continue the very positive trajectory we’re on,” Decker said. “I look forward to everything we’re going to be able to accomplish together with our staff and our families in the years to come.”

Lynch’s last day with the Solana Beach district will be June 30. On July 1, she is expected to start as superintendent of Reed Union School District.

Decker’s first day as superintendent will be July 1.

“Dr. Lynch has done such a wonderful job in these last three years,” Decker said. “To have the opportunity to step into that role and continue the great work that’s been done over the last few years is just an honor. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity.”