Last Friday, August 1, 2008 Dr. Chelsea Kang-Smith began her term as the seventh Superintendent of the Temple City Unified School District (TCUSD). Kang-Smith succeeds Dr. Joan Hillard, whose contract was not renewed in February.
“I’m delighted to be joining the TCUSD team” stated Kang-Smith in a press release from the School Board.
On Wednesday, July 16, the Temple City Board of Education approved Kang-Smith’s contract by a 4-1 vote. Board Member Rachel LaSota cast the only opposition vote.
The new Superintendent stated she was “looking forward to meeting and working with students, staff, parents, and community members to continue providing Temple City students with exceptional academic and extra-curricular programs.”
Kang-Smith was the sole finalist out of nineteen candidates. The Temple City Board of Education made a site visit to San Diego, where she once worked, on July 2.
In a press release, School Board President Joe Walker commented, “The Board is extremely pleased that Dr. Kang-Smith will bring her years of expertise to Temple City and is excited to have her become part of our community.”
Kang-Smith will earn a salary of $175,000 in the 2008-2009 fiscal year. She also signed a three-year contract with the District. She and her husband are also expected to relocate their family to Temple City or a nearby city.
After Dr. Joan Hillard left the TCUSD, Chief Business Official David Jaynes temporarily took over as Acting Superintendent. Jaynes relinquished his role to Kang-Smith last Friday.
As a former Area Superintendent of the San Diego Unified School District, Kang-Smith brings with her seventeen years of experience. She previously served as a middle and high school assistant principal, middle school principal, and an assistant Superintendent.
Yet to be confirmed by old records, Kang-Smith may be the first Asian American Superintendent of the TCUSD.
Kang-Smith is a graduate of the University of California, Irvine (UCI), California State University, Fullerton (CSU Fullerton), and the University of Southern California (USC).
This article was written by Margaret Thi. It was published in the Temple City Voice on August 6, 2008.