Del Mar school district adds director of innovation, design


As the Del Mar Union School District (DMUSD) continues to work on how to make education look radically different for its students, the board recently appointed Laura Spencer to the new position of executive director of innovation and design.

“Laura Spencer is a dynamic leader who will bring fresh perspective informed through a wealth of experience,” said DMUSD Superintendent Holly McClurg. “Her expertise will inspire strategic implementation of our District Design 2022.”

The district recently adopted its new strategic plan District Design 2022 after gathering input from hundreds of educators, parents and industry experts on how to make the school experience more meaningful for students and better prepare them for the future. Spencer’s job will be to drive innovation across the district and provide advice, consultation and assistance for development and implementation of new district programs and changes in existing programs as they relate to the new plan.

Other responsibilities include creating approaches to curriculum and instruction as it applies to the integration of technology and developing systems and tools to support teaching, learning and administrative efficiencies and “to build a robust, resilient technology infrastructure to meet the fast-paced, evolving digital teaching and learning needs of the district.”

DMUSD Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Jason Romero introduced Spencer to the board at the July 26 meeting, sharing highlights from her “exceptional career.”

Spencer is a U.S. Army veteran, where she served as a psychological operations specialist. She worked for the Santee School District as the coordinator of instructional technology for eight years and, most recently, she worked for the Lakeside Union School District as the director of educational technology.

In the beginning of her career in education, she was a middle school teacher in the Lemon Grove School District for six years.

“We wanted to find someone who not only understands the education sector but who really understands innovation and design through the public and private sector,” Romero said.

Recently, Spencer has been honored with the 2016 Innovative Educator Award from the Classrooms of the Future Foundation and this year was a Cox Business Exemplary Award honoree as a Top Tech Exec.

Spencer officially starts on Aug. 1 but has been working with the district throughout July.

“I’m super excited to be here,” Spencer said. “This is an amazing opportunity, I’m thrilled beyond measure and I can’t wait to start in this district.”