Days after a vote to recall three trustees from its school board, the San Francisco Unified School District said it plans to extend the search for a new superintendent through the summer as it seeks to replace outgoing Superintendent Vincent Matthews.
Nearly a year ago, Matthews announced plans to retire on July 30, 2021, but then decided to stay for another year in order to assist with the district’s transition from distance learning back to in-person classes.
Matthews is set to retire from his position at the end of the current school year.
The search for a new superintendent comes after San Francisco voters on Feb. 15 overwhelmingly approved recalling Board of Education president Gabriela Lopez, vice president Faauuga Moliga, and commissioner Alison Collins. Mayor London Breed is set to appoint new commissioners to replace Lopez, Moliga, and Collins in the coming weeks.
Because the school board is tasked with hiring a new superintendent, the hiring process has been extended in light of the recall, district officials said.
“Selecting a superintendent for our schools is one of the most important jobs of the SF Board of Education,” Lopez said in a statement. “In recognition of the leadership changes that will be taking place in the coming weeks, the Board has decided to extend the application timeline in order to give candidates more time.”
For the superintendent search, the school board is working with the firm Hazard, Young, Attea, and Associates.
Under the new timeline, the firm will continue taking applications through the end of March. The board will then start conducting interviews for potential candidates sometime in early April, with a second round of interviews anticipated for late April, according to district officials.
The board plans on making an offer to a qualified candidate no later than May, with the goal bringing onboard a new superintendent by July 1.
The three recently ousted board members are expected to vacate their seats in the coming weeks as the election results are being certified. Moliga, however, resigned from the position just one day after Tuesday’s election.
“I am really grateful for this opportunity. To be able to serve from this place has been one of the best experiences I have ever had in my life. I didn’t take any day for granted,” said Moliga, who was initially appointed to the board in 2018 and later won election — the first Pacific Islander in the city’s history to do so.
“Resigning immediately creates an opportunity for a new board member to step in at this important moment. I want to make sure that whoever is going to be appointed can be brought in as soon as possible as we have some important issues coming up with balancing the budget and selecting a new superintendent,” he said.
Breed said she is in the process of interviewing potential school board commissioners to appoint.
The recall, as well as Matthews’ retirement, comes as the district faces possible budget cuts amid a projected budget shortfall of more than $100 million for the next fiscal year.