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Santa Barbara Unified School District Superintendent Dave Cash Retiring

Cash's last day will be July 10, 2016; School board will start replacement process at Tuesday's meeting

Superintendent Dave Cash is retiring from the Santa Barbara Unified School District post in 2016, after five years in the position. He formerly worked in the district as principal of Dos Pueblos High and Goleta Valley Junior High.
Superintendent Dave Cash is retiring from the Santa Barbara Unified School District post in 2016, after five years in the position. He formerly worked in the district as principal of Dos Pueblos High and Goleta Valley Junior High.  (Giana Magnoli / Noozhawk file photo)

Santa Barbara Unified School District Superintendent Dave Cash is retiring in July, and the school board will start the search for his replacement Tuesday night, the district announced Monday.

Cash, a former principal at Dos Pueblos High and Goleta Valley Junior High schools, was selected superintendent in mid-2011, and had spearheaded facility improvements, a strategic plan update, and the switch to local control funding during his tenure.

His retirement will be effective July 10, district spokeswoman Barbara Keyani said in a statement.

Cash said he’s been thinking about the decision for about three months and wanted to give Santa Barbara Unified enough time to find a replacement before he retires.

He told Noozhawk he’s happy with the district’s direction and the work done in his time as superintendent.

Cash will be working as usual until his retirement date next summer and then plans to stay in the South Coast community and advocate for children in a different role, he said. 

Cash, 60, lives in the area with his wife, Heather, and sixth-grade daughter, Ella.

On Tuesday, Ed Heron’s last day as board president, the board is expected to start soliciting proposals for a search firm to handle the replacement process.

It will be the group’s first discussion of the retirement, due to Brown Act meeting laws.

Cash notified board members individually and told his cabinet Monday morning, Heron said.

The district expects the board to pick a search firm in January, and Heron hopes a new superintendent can be found before Cash leaves, to have some overlap.

“I know Dr. Cash well enough that he’ll do whatever the new person wants,” Heron said. “I don’t think he’s the type that will just walk away. There is too much at stake.”

The news of Cash’s retirement comes during the same meeting where school board members will consider go to voters for another general-obligation bond measure.

Consultant contracts for a feasibility study and campaign communications are on the agenda, and if the district moves forward, the timing will task the new superintendent with the brunt of a bond campaign, Heron said.

“I guess if I had a regret that would be the regret,” he said. “I think all of the plans (Cash) put into place will continue on, but he’ll be sorely missed as the leader so intimately involved with the need for facility improvement.”

In his four-plus years as superintendent, Cash’s goals have been to create culturally proficient classrooms in every school, create technology learning environments for students, and implement the new content standards for math, science and English language arts.

Under his leadership, the district started one-to-one iPad pilot programs and a new restorative-justice model for student discipline.

“We have made tremendous strides forward,” Cash said in a statement.

“The accomplishments that have taken place thus far could not have happened without the dedication of our staff; the generosity of individuals and foundations; and the support of the community through direct involvement in our schools as well as investments in local education through the passage of bonds and parcel taxes.”

In the announcement by the district, Heron said: “There is absolutely no question in my mind that Dr. Cash brought a clear vision to this district four years ago. ‘Every Child, Every Chance, Every Day.’ This isn’t just a slogan to him. He believes it with all his soul.

"We found him well grounded as an instructional leader, embracing diversity and clearly understanding of the needs of a diverse student body, including special education and high achieving student populations.

“Dr. Cash leaves us with a local control accountability plan template, a strategic plan, a technology plan, a special education plan, a visual and performing arts master plan, a maintenance action list, a facilities master plan and a high priority facility needs assessment.

“In addition, our unbelievable certificated, classified and administrative team is absolutely a legacy that will be with us long after his retirement. We all wish Dr. Cash the very best in his well-deserved retirement.”’

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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