Last meeting a time of reflection for outgoing Del Mar school board trustees


By Karen Billing

Staff Writer

The Nov. 17 Del Mar Union School District board meeting marked the last in the four-year terms of trustees Katherine White, Annette Easton and Steven McDowell.

The four years saw a lot of change, the ouster of two superintendents, hotly debated issues such as Spanish immersion and school closure, the addition of Ocean Air, a seventh district school, and continually high API scores — since 2007, the district-wide API has jumped 20 points.

District superintendent James Peabody presented each outgoing board member with a framed piece of student art and thanked them for their service.

“This is a dedicated group that has done some hard, hard work,” Peabody said. “Everyone came to the table with the best intentions.”

The new board members, Doug Rafner, Scott Wooden and Kristin Gibson, will be sworn in at a special meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 8, at 5 p.m. at Del Mar Hills. The new board officers will also be elected at that time.

“We look forward to creating a new team,” said Peabody, promising that there will be free hot dogs for all who attend the swearing in.

Easton has served the longest term, with eight years on the board. In reflecting on her term, Easton said a quote came to mind: “We judge others by their actions but we judge ourselves by our intent.” She said it’s an important idea for everyone to remember as the board deals with challenging issues.

“Overall the district is in a better place then where we were,” Easton said. “Under Jim’s (Peabody) leadership we’re set to move forward in a very positive way.”

White said she appreciated being able to work with all the people in the district.

White also thanked Superintendent Peabody for coming to serve Del Mar.

“Under his leadership the district will continue to grow and flourish and meet new challenges,” White said.

McDowell thanked the district’s staff members for their support and patience and also thanked his wife Jennifer. That night was their 20th wedding anniversary.