SMMUSD superintendent appointed to head Northern California school district

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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 Malibun Times earlier this week that she expected to be appointed to the position on Friday, although she did not name the district.

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. She will remain with the SMMUSD through the high school graduations in mid-June and begin her new job on July 1.

Although her tenure has been plagued by controversy, Talarico told The Times 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.”

The Board of Education will vote during a special meeting Wednesday on a proposed contract with the consultant Leadership Associates to assist the board with the search for an interim superintendent. The meeting will take place at 4 p.m. at the district office, located at 1651 16 St. in Santa Monica.