Solana Beach School District Superintendent Terry Decker has announced his retirement after a 38-year career in education and six years in the Solana Beach School District. Decker will stay with the district through the end of June.
“It’s been a great journey but it’s a nice time to take a step back,” said Decker, who will retire along with his wife Rahn, a two-time Oceanside Unified School District teacher of the year. “Our lives have been very much filled with education for a long time…we will step off to the next adventure together.”
Decker has been in the Solana Beach district since 2012, holding the positions of director of instruction and educational technology, as well as assistant superintendent of instructional services before being named superintendent three years ago.
“Terry Decker's time with the Solana Beach School District has been significant. Mr. Decker has steered the district through a time of change with the highest level of integrity and work ethic,” said Debra Schade, school board president. “His leadership in the passage of Proposition JJ has allowed the district to provide equity among district facilities for all students.”
“Mr. Decker receives the highest praise from our board for his work and although we wish him well in retirement, he will be missed.”
Decker got his first job in education as a third grade teacher in suburban Philadelphia in 1980. Decker was actually born in San Diego—his father was in the Navy and his last post was in Philadelphia. Decker returned to San Diego in 1982 and prior to coming to Solana Beach worked at both the Oceanside Unified School District and the San Diego County Office of Education as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, coordinator, director and assistant superintendent.
Over the last six years, Decker said a team approach has contributed to district successes such as implementing new state standards, 1:1 mobile technology, improvements to the STREAM and child nutrition programs and, of course, the passage of the bond and all the construction projects that have been completed or continue as a result.
Decker said he will definitely be back for the ribbon cutting of the new Skyline Elementary School this fall.
“I’ve made such great relationships in Solana Beach, it’s such an outstanding district to work for. I will definitely miss the kids, the staff, the parents and the community,” Decker said. “I can say without reservation that this district provides students with a world-class education and the combined efforts of the staff and community make that possible.”
The school board is currently working on a potential replacement and is reviewing firms to facilitate a superintendent search. Schade said the district will participate in key information gathering with district stakeholders to establish the qualities they will be prioritizing in the search for the next superintendent. Schade said the district is hopeful to have a new leader in place by mid June.
“This is a remarkable school district,” Decker said. “For anyone with an interest in superintendency, this is tremendous opportunity.”
Decker wanted to assure district families that he will remain focused in the three months left at his post as there is still much to be done.
“We will continue to focus on the needs of the students and ensure everything gets accomplished between now and the end of the school year,” Decker said.