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By Cari Hachmann
Staff Writer 

FUHSD looks forward to new superintendent in May


Last updated 3/29/2019 at 8:23pm

The Fallbrook Union High School District Board of Trustees hopes to install a new and permanent superintendent by May 6.

Current interim superintendent Dr. Lou Obermeyer, who started work Jan. 7, only planned to lead the district through the end of March.

Board President Diane Summers said the board has hired consultants to help with the process. She said another interim may be needed to fill the gap until the permanent position is filled.

Summers said the board has recently been holding stakeholder meetings that involve staff, students, parents and community members. The purpose of the meetings is for those people to express their vision of what they are looking for in a new superintendent.

The search is being conducted by consultants McPherson & Jacobson who are partners with the California School Boards Association.

CSBA is an organization that provides districts and county offices of education with a streamlined process for hiring, from recruiting possible candidates to the selection of a superintendent.

Raquel Madden, a public affairs representative at CSBA, said, “CBSA’s focus is on recruiting the best qualified candidates from a pool of superintendents and experienced educators in California, whereas other search firms recruit for private and business sector positions.”

A team of consultants works with the board and stakeholder groups in the process of hiring the most qualified candidate for the position.

Summers said several people have already applied for the FUHSD position.

She said the trustees are excited to fill the role, ideally after spring break.

“We are going to get somebody that wants to grow with us,” Summers said. “Even though the school is 125 years old, I feel that we are having a fresh start.”

The board of directors underwent a major overhaul November when three new trustees were elected, including board president Summers, Lita Tabish and Elana Sterling. The election winners joined Vice President Sharon Koehler, whose term runs from 2016 to 2020, and Lee De Meo, who term is the same as Koeler’s.

Last year’s election also prompted the early exit of former Superintendent Dr. Hugo Pedroza, who asked the board to terminate without cause his employment agreement with the district. The board executed the termination in closed session Nov. 26. Pedroza, per the terms of his employment agreement, received a year’s salary in severance pay. His last day as superintendent was Dec. 7.

Obermeyer retired as superintendent of the Valley Center-Pauma Unified School District in 2014. She has served as interim superintendent for the Alvord Unified School District, Warner Unified School District and Julian Union High School District over the last few years.

Before her stint in Valley Center, which began in 2006, she served for two years as superintendent at the Atwater Elementary School District and assistant superintendent for the Perris Union High School District. She was named ACSA California Superintendent of the Year in 2011.

Summers said the new superintendent will represent the community’s vision.

“It’s not an individual deal. It’s about the collective consciousness,” Summer said.

The ideal individual will be well-trained and be a strong communicator, she said.

The board aims to choose the incumbent by the third week of April.

“We are working really hard and trying to pull it together,” Summers said.

FUHSD has provided a survey on its website,, for people from the community to fill out and submit. The survey, offered in English and Spanish, asks questions that intend to help the board of trustees recruit quality candidates for the high school district’s superintendent position. The survey will close March 29.


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