The Capistrano Unified School District Board of Trustees will hold a special meeting on Feb. 1 to consider which consulting firm to work with as it searches for a new superintendent.
Board President Krista Castellanos announced the decision during the board’s regular monthly meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 18.
“Tonight, I’d like to kind of begin the process of searching for our new leader, and I’d like to have an open discussion with the board,” Castellanos said. “Regarding the recruitment of the new superintendent, procedurally the board must take action in open session to discuss options for a selection process and potentially select a search firm to aid the district in the recruitment of the superintendent.”
Several firms from California are expected to present their capabilities to the board for potential selection. Education Support Services, Leadership Associates and Dave Long & Associates were among the firms mentioned as potential candidates.
“I believe there are several firms within the state to do this type of work,” Castellanos said. “I would recommend we invite these firms to present their process and proposed scope of work at the special meeting as an information discussion item and then agendaize a second action item whereby the board could select the firm during that same meeting.”
Trustee Amy Hanacek said having three or four firms to consider would give “a broad enough spectrum of choice.”
The Board of Trustees chose to terminate the contract for previous Superintendent Kirsten Vital Brulte during a specially called closed-door meeting held in late December.
The vote to end Brulte’s run as superintendent was 4-3. Castellanos and Trustees Michael Parham, Gary Pritchard and Hanacek voted for the termination. Trustees Gila Jones, Lisa Davis and Judy Bullockus voted to keep her on.
Trustees have not given a specific reason for the decision. Castellanos said the decision was made “not for cause.”
Jones addressed Brulte’s exit during Wednesday’s meeting and called it “the elephant in the room.”
“It’s time to look forward instead of looking back. I think everything I have ever worked with or worked for has had their pluses and minuses, their strengths and weaknesses, and Superintendent Vital Brulte was no exception,” Jones said. “I think she left this district with, one of my fellow trustees said to me, ‘good bones.’ She accomplished a lot here, and she had her own strengths and weaknesses. The next person will have theirs.”
Jones said she looks forward to seeing what the next superintendent’s strengths are.
“This is a great district. It’s got more than just good bones,” Jones said. “It’s got great people. It’s got great everything. I’m looking forward to the future.”
Deputy Superintendent Clark Hampton is serving as interim superintendent.