Schools

Expected Offer to de la Torre: One Year as Superintendent

First published in the Oct. 28 print issue of the San Marino Tribune.

The San Marino Unified School District was expected on Tuesday night to offer a contract to Linda de la Torre that would make her the system’s superintendent through June 30, 2022 — the end of the current academic year.
The district board meeting at which the offer was expected to be made took place after the Tribune’s deadline. The topic was listed on the meeting’s agenda.

Photo by Mitch Lehman / TRIBUNE
Linda de la Torre has been serving as the SMUSD’s acting superintendent.

De la Torre was named acting superintendent on July 13, retroactive to July 1, after the resignation of former Superintendent Jeff Wilson, who announced in March that he would be taking a similar post at the Claremont Unified School District.
At the time of Wilson’s departure, de la Torre was assistant superintendent of administrative services with an annual salary of $193,000. If the board offered the contract Tuesday and de la Torre accepted, she would make $245,000, the rate at which Wilson was paid.
The contract is not renewable upon expiration and de la Torre may return to her former role if she chooses. For weeks, the SMUSD board has indicated that it wishes to take its time in locating a permanent successor to Wilson, but elevating de la Torre to superintendent would serve as an immediate way to underscore the district’s stability.
“I am honored and humbled to serve the students and parents of the San Marino Unified School District as their superintendent for the 2021-22 school year,” de la Torre said in an email that included the understanding that the matter was not yet approved by the board. “I look forward to continuing to work tirelessly to advance the Board of Education’s goals and to support the amazing work of our hard-working administrators, talented teachers and dedicated classified personnel.”
Board President Shelley Ryan said the panel will soon begin discussing the process and timeline for hiring the next superintendent, a procedure that is typically led by the board president and another board member.
“We will have direction once we discuss next steps,” Ryan said.

Now in his 25th year at The Tribune, Mitch Lehman is Editor and Sports Editor in addition to being the public address announcer for ten sports programs at San Marino High School. Mitch is one of only a handful in the community to receive the ‘Very Special Person Award’ from the San Marino PTA at the annual Founder’s Day ceremony, was acknowledged as a 'Terrific Titan' by the San Marino High School PTSA, was named an Honorary Paul Harris Fellow by the Rotary Club of San Marino and received a National Honorary Merit Badge in Journalism from the Boy Scouts of America. He has received two independent Pulitzer Prize nominations and in the past three years, Mitch has won seven awards and is a thirteen-time finalist in the California News Publishers Association's Better Newspapers Contest. In 2015, the press box at Titan Stadium was re-named 'Lehman's Loft' in his honor. You can reach Mitch at mitchlehman@sanmarinotribune.com.

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