Superintendent Laurie Kimbrel Resigns Effective June 30

By Marina Furbush

Superintendent Laurie Kimbrel of the Tamalpais Union High School District (TUHSD) announced in an email on January 12 that she would be leaving her position to work in another district effective June 30 of this year.

Tam Principal Julie Synyard said that district priorities will remain the same, even with the hiring of a new superintendent. “I don’t see major changes right now with the exception of a new leader at the helm,” Synyard said. “We have our strategic priorities that the board has set for us and we’re just going to keep following those.”

TUHSD Board of Trustees President Cindy McCauley is enthusiastic about the change in leadership. “What can be really exciting about this is a chance for all the different stakeholders: students, teachers, classified staff, the administrators, and the community in general. Parents, as well as anybody else in the community, will have an opportunity to sit down and talk about what they want to see in the next superintendent,” McCauley said. “It’s a rare opportunity to have those kinds of conversations and that will be part of the process.”

The board will meet on January 28 to decide the next steps in the search for a new superintendent, including the possibility of having an interim superintendent or hiring a search form.

Kimbrel’s last day is June 30 and McCauley hopes that a superintendent would be hired by June first, allowing for some overlap. “Our whole intention is that by the time [students] come back to school in August, that it’s done, and the person’s up and running and it’s all about students and learning again,” McCauley said.

McCauley hopes that the search will yield a candidate who is a good match for our district. “Superintendents would like to work here; we know that…what we’re looking for is the person that’s going to be the right fit for us and for this community. And that’s going to be the key,” McCauley said. “If we don’t find the right person, then we will wait for a year until we find the right person. Hopefully we’ll put it out, we’ll get somebody and they’ll be a great fit. I’m an optimist.”

The next superintendent will be the eighth superintendent Synyard has worked with throughout her career. “[In the past] with a new superintendent…we’d review our mission statement, we’d review our strategic priorities and say ‘is this still what we want?’ and then say yes or no and tweak them,” Synyard said. “It will be interesting to see the next person coming in, if they do have another vision. It depends on what the board wants to do as well. It will be an interesting couple months ahead.”

Kimbrel’s next job is at Township High School District 113 in Highland Park, Illinois.