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Goleta School District Selects New Superintendent

Board of Trustees will vote next week whether to officially hire Bill Banning from Solana Beach

The Goleta Union School District announced Friday that it has selected Bill Banning as its finalist to replace retiring Superintendent Kathy Boomer.

Bill Banning
Bill Banning

The Board of Trustees will make its choice official at its Wednesday meeting, according to board president Susan Epstein.

Banning has served as assistant superintendent and human resources director for the Solana Beach School District and has been working in education for 34 years, starting as a teacher and principal.

He’ll oversee Goleta Union’s nine elementary schools and 3,700 students starting July 1. Using Leadership Associates, the Board of Trustees interviewed candidates and chose Banning as a finalist to replace Boomer, who is retiring June 30 after seven years with the district.

Two trustees visited Solana Beach to meet some of the administrators, teachers and parents who work with Banning, and Epstein said they all had positive things to say.

“He was our unanimous top choice,” she added. “He’s a skilled expert on management of a school district, and his is a similar one to ours in many ways.”

The board held a community forum and had online surveys in English and Spanish to get input on the qualifications stakeholders wanted in a superintendent. Epstein said she believes people will be happy with Banning.

The district has a statewide reputation as a good place to work, the search firm told Goleta Union, and the schools’ high scores and fiscal management helped attract a great candidate pool, Epstein said.

The board narrowed down the field and had a site visit of Banning’s current district May 30 and then finalized contract negotiations, notified teachers and the district office, and parents. Now, officials hope he will be there a good length of time like Boomer was.

Banning will earn a $165,000 salary and work 225 days per year, according to the three-year employment contract.

Epstein said Banning is a good people person, steady leader and a problem solver,.

The Solana Beach School District is in northern San Diego County and, like Goleta, is a coastal elementary district that is basic-aid funded. It serves about 3,000 students with six elementary schools and a child development center.

“I’m very pleased to have been selected as the finalist for this position and look forward to contributing to the positive partnerships and outstanding work being done for the children of the community by the district’s teachers, support staff, administrators and Board of Trustees,” Banning said in a statement. “I believe my experience and passion for public education will serve the community well.”

The Goleta Union Board of Trustees will discuss hiring Banning at Wednesday’s meeting, beginning at 7 p.m. in the board room at 401 N. Fairview Ave. in Goleta.

The board will also consider a hire to replace Jackie Law, who is retiring from assistant superintendent of pupil personnel and special services. Boomer has recommended Margaret Saleh, director of education and students services for the Conejo Valley Unified School District.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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