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Search Firm Selected to Find New Superintendent for Santa Barbara Unified School District

School board also OKs $20,000 cost to hold Santa Barbara High graduation at Santa Barbara Bowl due to stadium renovations

Santa Barbara school board members have decided to hire the Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates search firm to find a replacement for Superintendent Dave Cash, who is retiring July 10.

The Schaumberg, Ill.-based company also was used in the Santa Barbara Unified School District’s last superintendent search in 2011 when Cash was hired.

At last week’s meeting, board president Pedro Paz and vice president Gayle Eidelson said two of the four firms — HYA and Leadership Associates of La Quinta — stood out with good references from other districts.

Board member Kate Parker said the district can “hit the ground running” with HYA, noting that she previously has worked with and has confidence in consultant Rudy Castruita.

Parker and fellow trustees Ed Heron and Monique Límon worked with Castruita during the previous superintendent search and Eidelson and Paz have participated in board workshops with him.

The only negative, Heron noted, is that the pool of candidates wasn’t very good for the last search. If Cash hadn’t come in at the last minute, the board may not have picked any of the candidates, he said.

It’s a “comforting thought” that some board members have worked with HYA before, Paz said.

The trustees unanimously approved contracting with Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates, including a transition workshop.

The consulting fee is $20,000 with additional costs for advertising, candidate travel expenses, consultant expenses and background checks.

The district seems poised to use a confidential process again, keeping candidate names private until a finalist is announced. It will be important to include lots of community input and status updates during the process in that case, Límon said.

The trustees also approved a $20,000 expense to hold Santa Barbara High School’s June 8 graduation ceremony at the nearby Santa Barbara Bowl.

The campus’ Peabody Stadium will be undergoing bond-funded renovations at that time so the one-day graduation cost will also be paid from general obligation bonds.

Noozhawk managing editor 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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