The Goleta Union School District welcomed its new superintendent, Bill Banning, on Wednesday night with a contract and a cake.
He brings 34 years of education experience and currently serves as assistant superintendent and human resources director for the Solana Beach School District, a K-6 basic aid district in San Diego County.
The Goleta district’s Board of Trustees started a nationwide search for a new superintendent once Kathy Boomer announced she was retiring. Banning was chosen from 50 applicants after background checks, multiple interviews and a site visit.
Board members Richard Mayer and Pam Kinsly visited Solana Beach to talk to 22 teachers, parents and administrators, and heard overwhelmingly positive things, Mayer said. Colleagues called Banning a steady leader, relationship builder, skilled expert in district management and problem solver, and his credentials will fit the Goleta district well, Mayer said.
Kinsly added that everyone was sad to see him go, though.
Banning thanked the board for the opportunity and said he was excited to meet all the principals and teachers. He’ll oversee Goleta Union’s nine elementary schools and 3,700 students starting July 1.
Banning will earn a $165,000 salary and work 225 days per year, according to the three-year employment contract.
The board also hired Margaret Saleh to replace Jackie Law, who is retiring from assistant superintendent of pupil personnel and special services. Saleh serves as director of education and students services for the Conejo Valley Unified School District and will join the Goleta district on Aug. 1.
After the meeting was adjourned — with superintendent and board reports skipped in lieu of cake — Banning signed on the dotted line and made the contract official.