Kristin Gibson is new DMUSD board president


The Del Mar Union School District board elected Kristin Gibson to serve as the new president at its Dec. 13 meeting. Gibson steps into the leadership role held by Doug Rafner for the last five years.

“Five years went by very quick,” Rafner said. “Three of us are moving onto our eighth year on the board if you can believe that. I’m thankful to the community for allowing me to sit here. It’s truly an honor to be on this board and represent the community, students, teachers and everything Del Mar Union School District has to offer and to see the growth in the district from where we were to where we are today.”

“I wish the board could take credit for that but it’s because of all the talent in this district that we see those results,” Rafner said of the teachers, administration and students. “With that type of talent, we can’t lose.”

Initially, trustee Stephen Cochrane nominated Rafner to continue as president but then Erica Halpern nominated Gibson. Rafner withdrew his name from consideration to support Gibson.

“Doug has been a phenomenal president these past five years and I would have been very happy to see him continue in the role but since this is my eighth year on the board without serving as president myself, I thought I’d take the opportunity to learn from a new experience,” Gibson said. “The five of us work exceptionally well together, and I’m grateful for my fellow board members’ support as I try something new.”

Gibson, a Carmel Valley resident and former elementary school teacher, was elected to the board in 2010 and 2014. She currently works as an educational consultant, which includes serving as a lecturer at San Diego State University’s School of Teacher Education, contributing to projects at the Center for Research in Mathematics and Science Education, and providing professional development for schools and districts in the area of mathematics education.

Gibson has her California School Boards Association Masters in Governance and also serves on the cabinet of Salkexcellerators, an organization at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies that supports scientific discovery.

Gibson was not the only board member to take on a new role as Halpern was named clerk.

“This is a high-functioning board of trustees, there are definitely five different people looking through five different lenses and that makes us a better district because of it,” Superintendent Holly McClurg said. “The board works well together and staff feels inspired by you and tries to do good work for you.”