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Ex-Santa Barbara Schools Administrator Paul Turnbull Leaving Area for Hawaii

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Paul Turnbull

Paul Turnbull, a former Santa Barbara school administrator who is superintendent of the Santa Ynez Valley Union High School District, will leave his post at the end of the school year to become president of the Mid-Pacific Institute in Hawaii.

In an email to staff this week, Turnbull announced that he would be moving with his family to “become part of another school community” outside California.

Although he did not say where he was going and could not be reached for comment, a news release on Mid-Pacific’s website indicates that Turnbull will begin leading the K-12 college preparatory school on July 1, 2013.

The board of trustees at Mid-Pacific, which also includes a preschool, announced its pick Wednesday.

“I am excited to announce that Dr. Paul Turnbull will be leading the school,” Kenneth Kupchak, chairpman of the Mid-Pacific Institute Board of Trustees, said in a statement. “Coming to our Manoa campus from being the superintendent of the competitive Santa Ynez Valley Union High School District in California, Dr. Turnbull has the breadth and depth of experience to lead the school forward, building upon its traditional strengths in the arts and technology.”

Turnbull has led the rural Santa Ynez district since 2008, and was an assistant superintendent at the K-12 Santa Barbara Unified School District before that.

“I am grateful for the time I have been able to spend with our schools,” Turnbull wrote in the email to staff. “Schools like ours are successful because of the staff, parents, students, and surrounding community; because of those people and their collective commitments to our students, we are leaders among our peers.”

Santa Ynez district board President Bruce Porter said Thursday that the board is grateful to have time to search for Turnbull’s replacement.

The board’s next meeting is Tuesday, at which time Turnbull’s contract will be discussed and trustees will consider an agenda item to accept his resignation, Porter said.

Porter said he was certain Turnbull will continue to show excellent leadership.

“In the five years that Dr. Turnbull has been here, we’ve been extraordinarily lucky to have his leadership,” Porter said, noting a loss of more than $2 million in state funds. “But he’s been able to guide us through that period in a very positive way. Our school performs at a higher level now.”

The Santa Ynez Valley Union High School District serves 1,200 students from the Ballard, Buellton Union, College, Los Olivos, Solvang, and Vista del Mar Union elementary school districts. The district is comprised of a comprehensive high school, a continuation high school, and an independent study program.

At Mid-Pacific, Turnbull takes over for Joe C. Rice, who was president 17 years.

“I am honored to become Mid-Pacific Institute’s next president, following the great work of Joe Rice and the Board of Trustees,” Turnbull said in the news release. “Mid-Pacific is steeped in a tradition of renewal and growth, and I am looking forward to working closely with the entire Mid-Pacific community to build upon that tradition. I also believe that Mid-Pacific is poised to take the next step as a leader among schools in the state and in the nation because of its visionary instruction and student-centered focus at every grade level.”

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff 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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