The San Marino School Board voted 5-0 on June 28 to name Linda de la Torre as its permanent superintendent, filling a void that had existed since March 2021 when Jeff Wilson resigned.
“It is my distinct honor and privilege to continue to serve as San Marino’s superintendent,” de la Torre said. “As someone who has dedicated her entire career to TK-12 public education and more specifically to San Marino schools, I believe that educational leadership is a collaborative venture and should be focused on achieving a high level of sustainable academic and social-emotional learning opportunities in addition to positive outcomes for all students.”
De la Torre has worked in the SMUSD since 1989, when she was hired to work in the accounting department. In 1998, she took over as coordinator of human resources and quickly advanced to director of human resources and assistant superintendent of human resources. In 2019, she was named assistant superintendent of administrative services and served as second-in-command to Wilson.
She was named interim superintendent when Wilson resigned before the board removed the temporary title in October 2021. The board then launched a search to find a permanent superintendent but declared earlier this year that the effort had not identified a candidate.
Technically, the board extended until Aug. 31 de la Torre’s pre-existing contract, which expired on June 30 pending negotiations on a permanent contract. She will be paid $245,000 per year plus benefits until a new agreement is made.
“With 33 years of experience in SMUSD and an extensive educational background, de la Torre will continue to lead the district in delivering a world class education for our community schools,” the board said in a statement to the Tribune. “Superintendent de la Torre led the district through a challenging year in 2021-22 with a focus on safety, social-emotional health, inclusive learning environments, fiscal stability, and a return to the 4 As in our schools — academics, athletics, arts and activities.”
De la Torre and her husband, Angel, have two children, Nathaniel (Ike) and Damien, who attended San Marino schools and graduated from SMHS in 2005 and 2008, respectively. She graduated from Azusa Pacific University in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in organizational management and business administration. In 2004, she earned a master’s degree in organizational leadership and business administration from Azusa Pacific and in 2021 added a doctorate in educational leadership from USC.
“Having had my own children go through San Marino schools, I know firsthand that our school district possesses a proud reputation for excellence in academics, arts, athletics and numerous other opportunities for student learning, activities and growth beyond the classroom setting,” de la Torre added. “I am so proud of all that our district has accomplished over the last several years and am fully committed to working with our board of education, executive team, principals, directors, PTAs and our teaching partners to ensure that we continue to deliver a world class education for our diverse population of students.”
According to its statement, the board said it will engage in strategic planning with de la Torre later this summer to set goals and priorities for the years ahead.