Board votes to create ad hoc advisory committee

Lucy Tantum

A special Board meeting was held on Thursday to discuss the creation of an Advisory Committee to assist the Board with the transitions they are planning to make.

Marin Superintendent of Schools Mary Jane Burke offered to organize an ad hoc committee with the goal of working through the staffing changes that the Tam District will be experiencing come next fall.

Burke, who said she has worked with other districts going through “transitions,” proposed a committee composed of herself and two Board members.

The Board unanimously and enthusiastically accepted Burke’s proposal. Board President Cindy McCauley and member Chuck Ford were selected for the committee.

The district is expecting major leadership changes soon. TUHSD Superintendent Laurie Kimbrel will be resigning in June, and two other school officials, including Assistant Superintendent of Finance and Facilities Lori Parrish, will also be departing.

“There’s a lot of angst going on,” Burke said during the meeting. “There’s some room here to begin to bring the district together.”

McCauley nominated herself to be a member of the committee, citing her experience on the Board.

“I have seven years experience and I think I bring that element, of some history, to a discussion,” she said.

Ford was the other member selected for the committee. The Board agreed that Ford’s experience as a teacher would add a valuable perspective to discussions.

The ad hoc committee will likely hold meetings until a new superintendent is chosen, according to Burke. However, the committee’s discussions will not center around the superintendent search.

Statements made in Public Comment at Tuesday’s Board meeting were not directly addressed, but Burke referenced issues currently plaguing the district.

Burke said that she has noticed differences of opinion between the district leadership and the community, as well as among the Board members.

“I’m concerned about the amount of conversation that’s been about adults,” she said. “You seem to be getting a lot of press.”

Burke cited the impending change in superintendent as the reason for the creation of the committee.

“This is a very important time for this board,” she said. “The Board has got to be aligned because soon you’re going to be making the big decision: who’s your superintendent going to be?”

Though Superintendent Kimbrel was absent from the meeting, in a statement read by McCauley she expressed her gratitude to Burke.