First published in the Dec. 16 print issue of the San Marino Tribune.
When she was appointed to the San Marino school board six months ago to replace Corey Barberie, Nam Jack said at the time, “I never thought in a million years that I would seek to return to the school board.” Now, she finds herself as the panel’s president.
Jack, who spent nine years on the school board between 2009 and 2018, was elected by her fellow board members to serve her third term as president of the board, having previously presided over the panel in 2013 and 2016.
The other members of the board unanimously passed the gavel to Jack for what most likely would have been Barberie’s term had he not moved from San Marino.
When it was her turn to speak at last Tuesday’s meeting, Jack chose to acknowledge her predecessor rather than explain her goals for the next year.
“I would like to thank Shelley Ryan for her extraordinary service as president of the board this past year,” Jack said. “I think few people fully understand the scope of a board member’s responsibilities, much less that of the school board president’s. More time spent and more personal sacrifices that one can imagine. School board members come from all walks of life and we were fortunate that Shelley’s background and expertise is in the educational field with decades long expertise as a teacher and school administrator.
“The San Marino School District and this board have been the lucky recipient of Shelley’s outstanding leadership skills, community commitment and advocacy for all students. She has given more than we can fully comprehend and we are forever grateful for her kindness, wisdom, concern and caring for students, staff and community,” she added.
The appointment of Jack brings stability to the board during a time when it is much needed. Next November, the San Marino Unified School District will hold an election where four board seats will be on the ballot, a situation that was necessitated by the resignations from the board by Barberie and Julie Chan Lin, who quit on May 25. Hers was the second sudden departure of a member in less than two weeks, following Barberie, who was later replaced by Mike Killackey.
Jack and her husband, Mike, reside in San Marino. The couple has two children, both of whom graduated from San Marino High School.