Solana Beach school board appoints new member

SBSD Clerk Gaylin Allbaugh, board member Vicki King, board member Dana King, Vice President Debra Schade and President Julie Union.
(Karen Billing)

The Solana Beach School District appointed new trustee Dana King at a special meeting on Feb. 27. King, a Solana Beach resident, will fill the vacancy left by the resignation of Rich Leib earlier this year. The board conducted a public interview session with five candidates before selecting King to fill the remainder of Leib’s term, through November.

“We are excited to welcome Mr. Dana King to the board of trustees,” said Solana Beach School District (SBSD) President Julie Union. “His impressive financial background, years of community service and passion for student success makes him a wonderful addition to the governance team.”

King was sworn-in that day and will participate in his first regular board meeting on March 12.

“Public education is a cornerstone in a strong community and I look forward to working with my fellow trustees in support of SBSD’s students, teachers, staff and our success,” King said.

King (no relation to board member Vicki King), built his business career working for large corporate entities before transitioning to entrepreneurship with two successful start-ups, including Liquid Environmental Solutions. He has an MBA in finance from UCLA.

He and his wife Nancy moved to Solana Beach from Cardiff in 2000 specifically to place twins Ian and Sofia in the Solana Beach School District, where their kids could get a great education and be able to walk to their neighborhood school. The twins attended Solana Vista and Skyline Schools and are now seniors at Torrey Pines High School.

“One of the reasons I’m volunteering for this position is our enormous appreciation for their great start,” King said. “They got a great start from teachers and administrators at Solana Vista and Skyline and we have a lifetime of memories.”

King has been an active volunteer in his community at the schools and youth organizations such as Solana Beach Soccer Club, Solana Beach Little League and North Shore Girls Softball League. He also served on the district’s Independent Citizens Oversight Committee, which monitors bond expenditures from Measure JJ.

During his interview King spoke about the qualities he could bring to the board including his financial acumen; working to build consensus through personal connections and engagement; and being a good listener.

He remarked that while he loved the at-large school district system, he understood the necessary change to a by-trustee area district. Despite the changes, he said he has the enthusiasm for “serving all the students and staff at all seven schools, not just the ones across the street.”

Of the five candidates interviewed, King was among the board’s top two choices along with Bruce Cameron, a Pacific Highlands Ranch resident.

SBSD Vice President Debra Schade thought Cameron was the best fit for the board as he could represent an area that is not represented on the board. She said Cameron has his pulse on the community with two children at Solana Ranch and he has been a very active participant in the district, attending nearly every board meeting.

While SBSD board member Vicki King said both candidates would bring strong financial backgrounds to the board, the position is only for eight months until the November election and if selected, Cameron would not be able to run for the seat as he does not live in the trustee area. Cameron would have to wait two years to be able to run again in his trustee area while if King was interested in running for election, he would be able to continue on in the seat.

“For me, Dana rises to the top for the possibility of consistency,” said Vicki King. “I really would love to appoint somebody who could really dig in and stay.”

In her vote of support, SBSD Clerk Gaylin Allbaugh also felt continuity was important and noted that Dana King would be representing the east Solana Beach community where they are building the new Solana Vista school this year.

“I’m enthusiastic about Mr. King’s appointment, and I know our staff is looking forward to working with him and continuing the many high-quality programs and projects we have under way on behalf of our students,” said SBSD Superintendent Jodee Brentlinger.