Hiring of Mr. Dill
The Hiring of Superintendent Eric Dill: Mr. Dill was selected as the "best" candidate for our district by Board members Dalessandro, Hergesheimer and Herman even though he had no teaching credential, no teaching experience, no familiarity with curriculum and no admin credential. State law requires that superintendents have both a teaching and administrative credential, but the contract offer approved by these members waived these two requirements. Boards may exercise their discretion to waive the Ed Code requirements but there have been many discussions about whether they should have given the needs of this district.
San Dieguito Union High School District (SDUHSD) conducted interviews of numerous search firms in spring of 2016. In May 2016, it hired Leadership Associates (LA) to conduct the search for a new superintendent. LA advised the SDUHSD Board that it was not a good idea look for a new Superintendent in the fall, as did all other search firms interviewed, because most of the strongest candidates were already under contract by fall. Instead, they suggested that a search be conducted in the spring.
And yet, a fall search was launched...
Per the insistence of Trustees Dalessandro, Hergesheimer and Herman (the first two of which were up for election in November), LA began the search in the fall. As predicted by the firm, the pool of candidates during the fall was small and not very strong because most candidates were already under contract at this time. Dill showed no interest in the position during the August round of interviews and was not even part of the pool of applicants. The selected candidate didn’t work out, so it was anticipated that a second search would begin after December, which the search firms had stated was the optimal time in order to have the widest candidate pool and strongest pool of applicants. (Poway Unified, for example, did this in early 2017 and had over 90 applicants)
San Francisco Trip: In November 30 to December 2, 2016, four of the five board members (except Maureen Muir) attended a California School Board Association conference in San Francisco. After returning from the conference, President Herman announced unexpectedly that the candidate search has been narrowed to Eric Dill because he was doing an exemplary job, surprising Board Members John Salazar and Maureen Muir who thought that they had agreed that a new search would be launched during the optimal spring as the search firm had recommended. The rationale was that Mr. Dill had years of experience with the district's business department as the Assoc. Super. in charge of business operations (before that he was employed with Magic Mountain and a Halloween costume business). Concerns among the community and select board members were whether a business background alone made him the best candidate to lead an academic entity.
Post CSBA conference:
December 8, 2016: Addendum indicated closed session on Superintendent search
December 14, 2016: Eric Dill Superintendent search closed session
January 4, 2016: Closed session Superintendent search
January 19, 2017: Three board members (Herman, Hergesheimer and Dalessandro) voted in favor of Dill, waiving the state requirements that he have both an administrative and teaching credential.
The January 19, 2017 Board Meeting
Board Member Salazar brought up how surprised he was to learn that right after the CSBA conference, the three board members (Herman, Hergesheimer and Dalessandro) decided on Eric Dill.
He stated he raised his objection not only because he was unhappy with the selection process and Dill’s inadequate academic experience, but also because parents of children in the district had approached him and shared that they were equally concerned after they saw Dill’s resume.
Salazar reiterated Dill's lacked of the qualifying credentials and how he wanted to launch a spring search as the hired search firm had recommended to allow more applicants to be in the applicant pool along with Eric Dill.
Salazar also stated that if, after a fair and transparent search, Dill was the most deserving candidate, he would vote for him.
Board Member Muir echoed what Mr. Salazar had shared, but no spring search was conducted and Mr. Dill was selected from the candidate pool of one by the votes of three.
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