June 30, 2008 was the last official day of Dr. Joan C. Hillard’s role as Superintendent of the Temple City Unified School District (TCUSD). Dr. Joan C. Hillard became the sixth Superintendent of the District when she arrived in 1999. For nine years, Hillard served Temple City schools and reigned as test scores and other academic indicators were rising in the TCUSD.
In February, the Temple City Board of Education voted 4-1 to not extend Hillard’s contract as Superintendent, paving the way for a new Superintendent to lead the District. Board Member Matt Smith cast the sole dissenting vote.
Hillard’s tenure as Superintendent was filled with low morale among the district’s unions. She received a no-confidence vote by the Temple City Education Association (TCEA) in 2004. The Temple City Education Association is the local teachers’ union.
Voters in the Temple City Unified School District ousted incumbent Robert McKendrick during the November 2007 School Board elections; however, they elected three TCEA-endorsed candidates, Temple City Board of Education Vice-President Robert Ridley and Board Members Rachel LaSota and Janet Rhee, to fill three spots on the School Board.
Hillard’s last Temple City Board of Education meeting took placed on June 11, 2008. Three days later, on June 14, the Board of Education appointed Chief Business Official David Jaynes as Acting Superintendent. Jaynes officially took over on July 1.
In a press release statement released by the Temple City Unified School District on June 18, it was noted that nineteen individuals filed applications for the position of Superintendent, the District’s top administrative position.
On July 1, the District released another statement naming Dr. Chelsea Kang-Smith as the finalist for the position of Superintendent. Kang-Smith currently serves as an area superintendent with the San Diego Unified School District.
Board President Joe Walker commented “We are extremely pleased that she will bring her years of expertise here to Temple City and are excited to have her become part of our community.”
The Temple City Board of Education made a visit to San Diego on July 2 for a site visit.
If confirmed, Kang-Smith will become the seventh Superintendent of the Temple City Unified School District.
This article was written by Matthew Wong. It was published in the Temple City Voice on July 9, 2008.