Del Mar school district superintendent announces retirement


By Karen Billing

Del Mar Union Superintendent Jim Peabody is retiring. Peabody made the announcement at the April 25 school board meeting that he will be leaving his position at the end of June, a little over two years after his appointment.

“It has been a pleasure serving you for the past two years and working with the remarkable board. We have made tremendous progress in the district and I am proud to have been a part of it,” Peabody said. “After 41 years serving the public in education, I am now looking forward to enjoying time with my family.”

School board president Scott Wooden said they knew when they hired him that he was near the end of his career as they pulled him out of semi-retirement from the Julian Union High School District to lead at Del Mar.

“I just didn’t think it would be so soon,” Wooden said. “We’re sad to see you go. We’ve appreciated your time spent here and your stabilizing influence on this district.”

Peabody was named interim superintendent on April 1, 2010, one day after Sharon McClain was released with cause from her contract. About a month later in May 2010, Peabody was given the acting superintendent role.

Peabody’s education career also included serving as the assistant superintendent of curriculum for the Grossmont Union High School District for 35 years, 10 years on the Alpine Union School District board and 10 years as the regional director of district and school support at the San Diego County Office of Education.

Peabody thanked the board for its support as well as the teachers and staff for their dedication.

“Our staff is extraordinary and they work hard to ensure that the children of the Del Mar Union School District receive the best educational experience in America,” said Peabody. “They excel in helping each child find and unwrap their unique gifts.”

Peabody will assist the district in the process of finding a new superintendent, a process that will begin immediately. He said he will help ensure that the district and community have a “positive and smooth transition to new leadership.”

The meeting was also the last for administrative assistant Sherry Forte, who is also retiring. Forte was with DMUSD for 14 years in various positions. Her last day will be Monday, April 30.

The board members thanked Forte for her service, as did the superintendent.

“You’ve been my rock for the last two years and I appreciate everything you’ve done, especially for the children of this district,” Peabody said.