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Caldwell Emerges as Board President

The San Marino School Board has a new president, but it took a circuitous route to get there as Jeanie Caldwell was chosen for the position at its meeting on Tuesday, June 14.

Just six days earlier, Caldwell had been selected from a field of seven candidates who had applied to fill the seat of then-Board President Nam Jack, who resigned on Monday, May 16.

Last Tuesday, Caldwell moved two seats to the left to take over as president after a lengthy debate over who would succeed Jack.

To begin the process, school board member Michael Killackey nominated Vice President Jane Chon for the role of president, but it failed for lack of a second. Killackey then made a motion that clerk member C. Joseph Chang be made president, a move that was seconded by Chon. But Chang declined the nomination, citing a busy schedule on other work matters. Board member Shelley Ryan then nominated Caldwell and received a second from Chang. Caldwell was then voted in as president by a 3-2 margin, with Chang and Ryan joining Caldwell in voting “yes” with Chon and Killackey casting “no” votes.

The board has other issues that they have vowed to approach at a later meeting. When Jack resigned and the board was looking to follow a succession plan, it was revealed that Chang would leapfrog the vice president and assume leadership of the board. During the discussion, Chon mentioned that she had been in contact with former Superintendent Jeff Wilson regarding the discrepancy but tabled the discussion because of the pandemic.

Caldwell, who previously served on the San Marino School Board from 2001-09, said that the board will most likely announce a superintendent at its regular meeting on June 28. The contract of current Superintendent Linda de la Torre ends on June 30.

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