School district head appointed to Bay Area post

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Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Superintendent Dianne Talarico officially has a new job. The Burlingame School District Board of Trustees on Friday morning voted unanimously to appoint her as the district’s new superintendent. The Burlingame district serves students from preschool through eighth grade in the city of Burlingame, located on the San Francisco Peninsula in San Mateo County.

Talarico told The Malibu Times earlier last week that she expected to be appointed to the position, although she did not name the district.

The Board of Education will discuss a proposed timeline to hire a new superintendent at its meeting on Thursday. The proposal includes the issuance next month of request for proposal notices for search firms. The search firm would be selected by September. The superintendent would be selected by March 1.

Unlike in 2006 when the district used Assistant Superintendent Mike Matthews and later then-Assistant Superintendent Tim Walker as interim superintendents, the board plans to hire an interim superintendent from outside the district. At a special meeting this week on Wednesday, the board will vote on a contract with the consultant Leadership Associates to assist with the selection for an interim superintendent.

Talarico was hired to head the SMMUSD in July 2006 as the permanent replacement for John Deasy, who had left earlier in the year to take the top position at Prince George’s County Public Schools in Maryland. Talarico will remain with the SMMUSD through the high school graduations later this month and begin her new job on July 1.

Although there were several controversies during her brief stint with the SMMUSD, Talarico told The Times last week this did not factor into her decision to leave. She said she wants to live with her husband Enrique Navas-Vasquez, who works as a chief financial officer for a school district near Burlingame. For the past two and a half years, they have been alternating between Northern and Southern California to see each other for a few days once a month.

“Last July I turned 50 and it came to me ‘Oh my God, life is so short. This is ridiculous. I’m living apart from my one true love,'” Talarico said. “I put some things in perspective and realized that I really wanted to have a balanced life.”

Both meetings this week will take place at the district office, located at 1651 16 St. in Santa Monica. The Wednesday meeting will begin at 4 p.m. and the Thursday meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. To access the agendas, go to www.smmusd.org and click “Board Meetings.”