The CUSD school board has narrowed the candidates for its superintendent search down to finalist Scott Laurence, who is currently superintendent of San Mateo Union High School District.
Out of the 28 individuals who completed an application for the position—which will open for the 2015-16 school year with current superintendent Marvin Biasotti’s retirement—Laurence fit the criteria best, according to School Board President Rita Patel.
“The primary tool we used…was feedback from the public community forums and the online superintendent search survey,” Patel says. “From those surveys, we learned what different groups, such as teachers, parents, and community members, were expecting and looking for in the next superintendent.”
And what they were looking for most closely resembled one Scott Laurence, who announced last November that he would be resigning from this current position at SMUHSD due to a long commute that was interfering with his personal life, the longtime teacher and administrator says.
“It was an incredible coincidence that the superintendency of Carmel Unified opened up after I resigned from my current position,” Laurence says. “I am thrilled that this opportunity presented itself.”
Laurence started his career as a social studies teacher for 13 years at Palo Alto High School, where he was eventually installed as principal. Later, Laurence also served as principal of Gunn High School, and then as superintendent of San Mateo Union for six years.
On March 23, the CUSD school board and staff from various departments drove to San Matero in order to interview Laurence’s colleagues, who confirmed their hopes.
But before Laurence could be formally instituted into Carmel Unified, the school board had a special closed session meeting on March 25, during which they discussed the feedback from the validation team.
The school board made its final announcement to employ Laurence in an open session meeting on Wednesday—which Laurence jokes isn’t a very good day on which to hear back from a potential employer, seeing as it’s April Fool’s Day.
However, Laurence is not fooled.
“Carmel Unified is a great district, and I would be honored to be the superintendent.”