By Karen Billing
The San Dieguito Union High School District (SDUHSD) board approved its new contract for Superintendent Rick Schmitt at its Sept. 4 meeting, although it was not unanimous. Trustee John Salazar voted “no.”
“It has nothing to do with performance,” Salazar explained, noting he gave Schmitt a very high evaluation and said that he enjoys working with him.
Salazar said one of his reasons for voting against the contract is that with seven candidates running for three available spots on the board in November’s election, he thinks that the board should wait until after the election to approve Schmitt’s contract.
Salazar also said he is opposed to public employees having contracts.
Trustee Barbara Groth said Salazar’s comments were “interesting”— she said it sounded like his decision was based on personal philosophy while “based on reality, a three-year contract is a public show of confidence” and an appropriate thing to do.
According to SDUHSD Board President Joyce Dalessandro, Schmitt received an outstanding evaluation and received the highest praise for a smooth transition in his first year as the district’s leader.
“I was blessed to have inherited a district already on an incredible arc,” Schmitt said.
Schmitt said his goals moving forward are to continue to keep the board well informed, to let his assistant superintendents run their departments, to listen to and engage the community, create the best educational plan for students, and continue to be conservative in budgeting.
The assistant superintendents’ contracts were also renewed, again with Salazar voting against them.