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Public will have 90 minutes to meet San Diego Unified’s two superintendent finalists

San Diego Unified interim Superintendent Lamont Jackson and Highline Public Schools Superintendent Susan Enfield
San Diego Unified’s two superintendent finalists are interim Superintendent Lamont Jackson and Highline Public Schools Superintendent Susan Enfield.
(File photos)

The school district canceled three January forums due to COVID-19 and will now hold one public meeting Feb. 26.

The public will have once chance to meet the San Diego Unified School District’s two superintendent finalists before one of them is chosen for the job.

The district will hold one forum next month and give the public 90 minutes to hear from and question the finalists, district officials said.

The two finalists are Lamont Jackson, the longtime district insider who is currently the interim superintendent, and Susan Enfield, superintendent of Highline Public Schools, a midsize Seattle-area school district.

Originally, the district had planned to hold three public forums in January at three schools, but the district canceled them because of the surge of the Omicron coronavirus variant.

Now the district is planning one public forum from noon to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 26, at Wilson Middle School, 3838 Orange Ave. in San Diego near Normal Heights.

“It wasn’t any effort to limit the public’s participation,” said Christopher Rice-Wilson, chairman of the superintendent search committee. “It was purely for health reasons and safety of all people concerned that we limit the number of sites and provide as much access as possible with safety and health at the forefront of our minds.”

Two forums will be held in the morning Feb. 26 for students; they will not be open to the public, Rice-Wilson said.

During the public forum, the finalists will present themselves and there will be some time when the audience can ask questions, Rice-Wilson said. The exact logistics haven’t been finalized yet, he added.

Rice-Wilson said the search committee hopes the district will livestream and record the forum so people can watch even if they don’t attend. He said the committee also hopes the school board members will attend.

The district is asking people to RSVP by emailing superintendentsearch@sandi.net, but an RSVP is not required.

The school board had planned to select a superintendent in mid-January but now expects to do so in mid-March.

The board has been searching for a new permanent superintendent since the district’s former leader, Cindy Marten, was chosen in January 2021 to become U.S. deputy secretary of education.

Jackson has served as interim superintendent since May. He has worked for San Diego Unified since 1998, including as a teacher and as a principal at three middle schools. He was hired into the district’s central office as a human-resources staffing administrator, then chief human-resources officer from 2010 to 2013.

For about the past eight years, Jackson has served as an area superintendent, primarily overseeing the elementary and middle schools in the Morse, Mira Mesa, Clairemont and University City school clusters.

Enfield previously was chief academic officer and interim superintendent of Seattle Public Schools. She also was a teacher and school administrator in Portland, Ore., and Vancouver, Wash.

In November, Enfield was named Superintendent of the Year by the Washington Association of School Administrators.


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