The latest news, events and updates from the San Marino USD
March 8, 2022
SMUSD Board of Education Seeks Community Input on Superintendent Search
  • COMMUNITY MEETING ON TUESDAY, MARCH 15 10:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.

Dear San Marino Community:

One of the most important duties that a school board can perform is the hiring of a superintendent of schools.

The first step of this critical process is the selection of a search firm that will assist the San Marino Unified School District Board of Education ("Board") and our San Marino community in determining the qualities and qualifications of the ideal superintendent candidate and in recruiting and vetting these candidates. In response to a request for quotes, four highly regarded and experienced search firms appeared before the Board during a Special Open Session Board meeting on Thursday, February 17, 2022. The following four firms made presentations: Leadership Associates, Ray & Associates, McPherson & Jacobson, and The Cosca Group. Each search firm agreed to include and engage the San Marino community in the process of selecting the best possible superintendent. The Board unanimously selected The Cosca Group.

At its Tuesday, March 1, 2022 Special Open Session Board meeting, the Board heard a public presentation from its newly-hired executive search firm consultants, Joel Shapiro and Jan Britz of The Cosca Group. The consultants explained the procedures involved in the search process and presented the Board with a tentative timeline for the superintendent search. As part of a two hour presentation, the consultants asked each Board member to identify important characteristics of the ideal candidate, as well as attributes of the SMUSD that would both attract and challenge the next superintendent.  

Mr. Shapiro and Dr. Britz announced that they would also be meeting with various stakeholder groups and will be holding community meetings to receive more input about the desired qualities and experience of the ideal superintendent. They will be scheduling meetings with invited stakeholders, including students, parents, faculty, staff, administrators, PT(S)As, City of San Marino officials, and community groups, from March 7 to 14.  

In addition to meeting with stakeholder groups, the consultants will hold a community meeting at two separate times, one in the morning and one in the evening, to give the San Marino community the opportunity to speak about expectations for the next superintendent. There will be a community-wide meeting on Tuesday, March 15 at 10:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. in the District Board Room.

Persons who are not available to attend the community meetings or do not wish to provide their input in a public setting are invited to provide their opinions in writing through an anonymous online survey available in both English and Chinese at The last day to complete the online survey will be at 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 17.

Through information obtained during these meetings with the School Board, stakeholder groups, and the community, as well as the online survey, the consultants will develop a job profile of the SMUSD superintendent which will be presented and discussed at a Special Open Session Board meeting on Friday, March 18 at 5:00 p.m.. The data gathered will also assist the consultants and the Board in developing interview questions and clarifying priorities and focus areas.

Mr. Shapiro and Dr. Britz are aiming to post the application and job profile nationwide on March 22. Candidate applications will be due no later than April 26, and the Board will review the applications during Closed Session at a Special Board Meeting, date and time yet to be determined. Selected applicants will be interviewed by the Board during Closed Session at a Special Board Meeting on May 6 and 7, and it is hoped that the successful superintendent will be announced by mid-May.

The Board encourages the San Marino community to participate in the superintendent search process. Whether it is by attending the community-wide meetings, completing the online survey, contacting consultant Joel Shapiro at, or contacting the Board at, we want to hear from you with your thoughts about our next superintendent.

We appreciate your participation and support during the superintendent search process.