Position Details
Back to search page...
District: San Marcos Unified School District 2018
Position/Title: Superintendent
Salary: Competitive and negotiable
Closing Date: Wednesday, August 22, 2018

The Position

The Governing Board of the San Marcos Unified School District, an award-winning K-12 public school district in Northern San Diego County, seeks a superintendent to replace Melissa Hunt, who will have completed her transitional year on August 31st. This high performing district, known for its innovation and academic excellence, seeks a Superintendent willing and able to continue its award-winning success, and in cooperation with the Board and staff, lead SMUSD to the next level.

The ideal candidate is an experienced educator with exceptional leadership skills, who models an innovative approach to education and a commitment to educating 21st Century learners. The successful candidate will be an exceptional communicator with knowledge and/or experience in all areas of district and school administration, including instruction, finance, budget, personnel, special education and facilities.

The ideal Superintendent will be outgoing, with excellent interpersonal skills and must have a reputation for fairness, and for building and maintaining positive relationships throughout the District.

The Community and District History

The San Marcos Unified School District serves approximately 21,000 students from pre-school through adult education in 11 elementary schools, three middle schools, two comprehensive high schools, two K-8 schools, one continuation high school, one Independent study high school, one charter and one adult school. The students live in San Marcos, Carlsbad, Vista, Escondido and an unincorporated area of San Diego County.

The district employs over 2,200 people, which includes nearly 1,100 certificated teachers. It is the largest employer in the city of San Marcos, having substantially more staff than Palomar College and California State University San Marcos. SMUSD employs roughly ten times the employees of the City of San Marcos.

Legend has it that the San Marcos area between Vista and Escondido was discovered in the latter part of the 18th century by Spanish troops chasing Native Americans, who had stolen their horses. The Spaniards called the Valley, Los Vallecitos de San Marcos because it was discovered on St. Mark’s day, April 25th. The name was shortened to San Marcos in 1797.

San Marcos Elementary was first built in 1910, with additional buildings constructed in 1929, and completely remodeled in 2010, is currently the oldest school in use in the district. Starting in 1957, other schools followed such as Alvin Dunn, Richland Elementary, and San Marcos Junior High School. Although San Marcos High School opened in 1961, it didn’t join as part of the district until 1976 when the district officially became the San Marcos Unified School District.

The District has an established Mission, Belief and Commitment


The San Marcos Unified School District is an innovative and collaborative community providing an unparalleled educational experience. Through an engaging and supportive environment, all our students are challenged, inspired and poised to excel.

We Believe

That every student deserves to learn every day.

Positive relationships and a strong sense of community connect students to learning. Teachers who challenge and care for students make a significant impact on students’ lives.

To attain excellence, we can accept only the best from every individual in the learning community.

We Commit

To providing each student with an appropriate and challenging educational experience.

Maintaining a respectful environment that fosters learning through positive relationships among students, adults and our diverse community.

Hiring and retaining only the best educators and investing in their success.

Providing quality education based on high standards, effective practice, continuous improvement and innovation.

San Marcos Unified District Socio-Economic Indicators

The following are District-wide socio-economic indicators:


Ethnic breakdown

Other Demographic Information

21,007 (Oct. 2017)

45.2% Hispanic/Latino

44.6% White

5.4% Asian

2.1% Filipino

1.9% African-American

36.1% Free/Reduced

15.0% English Learners

16.1% addn’l Redesignated FEPs

11.5 % Students with Special Needs

Selection Criteria

The following criteria represent standards to be used in the evaluation of applicants and in the selection of the superintendent:

Professional Preparation

  • Experience as a classroom teacher is required
  • Master’s degree and CA administrative credential are required
  • Experience as a school principal is required
  • Central office experience is desirable
  • Bilingual ability (Spanish) is desirable
  • CA driver’s license is required
  • Doctorate is optional

Personal Characteristics

The Superintendent must be visible, approachable, personable and demonstrate a sense of humor. The successful candidate will be a visionary with an eye to the future who can inspire others to achieve and grow. The successful candidate will be one who can embrace change without forcing it, use data to drive decision making, and be a visible presence in our community. This Superintendent must have a clear sense of self and the common sense to get important work done in a positive and collaborative way.

Educational Skills and Abilities

  • Committed to academic excellence with a clear vision for education that maintains a focus on improving student performance, while supporting a broad course of study for all students.
  • Ability to work collaboratively and honestly with the Governing Board, staff, and community.
  • Ability to develop and support the executive management team, as well as prepare individuals for future advancement within the district.
  • Provide Board members with accurate and timely information so as to prepare them to make effective decisions in a timely manner.
  • Demonstrate ability to responsibly manage the district’s finances, facilities and resources, and to seek additional funding source.
  • Understand collective bargaining and able to maintain a positive climate with all employee groups.

Application Procedures

All applications will be held strictly confidential. Each applicant is required to follow the procedures listed below. Those applicants wishing additional information should contact the Board advisors from Dave Long & Associates, Beverly Hempstead at 714-746-6828 and/or John Roach at 760-802-7049.

Applications must be submitted to:


San Marcos Unified School District

c/o Beverly Hempstead or John Roach

Dave Long Executive Search Services

All applicants must provide the following items by the closing date of August 22, 2018, by 5:00 PM, PDT to be considered:

  • A completed Application Information Form. (Please complete as instructed; do not complete by stating “see attached resume”). The Application Information Form and brochure may be downloaded via Dave Long & Associates web page at DLAssoc.com
  • A personal letter of application stating reason for interest in the San Marcos Unified School District superintendent position.
  • A resume’ providing biographical background information about educational preparation, experience and achievements.
  • A placement file and/or five (5) current letters of professional references describing the applicant’s performance in previously held positions.

It is the applicant’s responsibility to arrange to have all of the above items submitted to the DLAssoc.com website no later than 5:00 PM PDT, on August 22, 2018.

Selection Procedure

A professional screening committee will evaluate the qualifications of each applicant. The Board and the screening committee will use the described criteria during the screening, interviewing, and final decision-making process. After receiving and studying the report of the professional screeners, the Board will select and interview a select number of top candidates.

The Board will select candidates for the final interviews, conduct the interviews, and select the superintendent. Any applicant who contacts a Board Member with the intent of influencing the Board’s decision will be disqualified. Travel expenses for those candidates selected for the initial interview will be the responsibility of the candidate.

Salary and Contract Terms

The San Marcos Unified School District Board of Trustees will offer a competitive and negotiable salary, plus fringe benefits to the successful candidate, based on the individual’s experience and qualifications. The Board intends to offer a multi-year contract.

It is the candidate’s responsibility to provide the District with employment eligibility and verification of citizenship in compliance with the Immigration Reform and Control Act.

Board of Trustees

Term Expires

Stacy Carlson, President


Randy Walton, Vice President


Janet McClean, Clerk


Victor Graham, Member


Pam Lindamood, Member


Position Details

Closing Date: August 22, 2018, 5:00 PM PDT