Superintendent Ed Brand, who was hired last year, has resigned.

San Diego Union Tribune

The school board accepted Brand’s letter of resignation at a special meeting yesterday. He said he is leaving the San Marcos Unified School District for personal reasons, board members said.

Trustees Alan Brown, Mary Borevitz and Sharon Jenkins voted to accept the resignation, Brown said. Board members Pam Bancells and David Horacek did not.
“I was really sad to see him leave because test scores are up,” Bancells said. “He has a gift for focusing on the kids and doing exactly what needs to be done.”

Horacek said he was adamantly against accepting Brand’s resignation because Brand was hired to raise test scores. Recent scores released by the state show improvement.

In June, trustees Brown, Borevitz and Jenkins voted against Brand’s request to hire additional employees for this school year. One was a coordinator to run the district’s new partnership with Cal State San Marcos that guarantees qualified students admission to the four-year university, a program that Brand implemented and values. Funding was the reason given for not hiring the new positions.

Those same three trustees voted to buy out Brand’s contract for $410,000, Horacek said. Brand had an annual salary of $232,000 and a $700 monthly car allowance.

“This decision defies common sense,” Horacek said in a statement.

At yesterday’s meeting, the board appointed Kevin Holt, the assistant superintendent of human resources, as the interim superintendent.

Brand could not be reached for comment last night.

Last month, Brand said his first year with San Marcos went smoothly and he planned on staying until he retires. He has worked in education for 30 years.

“I love it here,” Brand told The San Diego Union-Tribune in late July. “The students and staff are terrific. Everyone has been welcoming.”

In July, the board evaluated his one-year performance, which is confidential. At the time, Jenkins praised Brand’s first year, and Horacek said, “I can’t imagine this district without him.”

Brand previously served for nearly 10 ½ years as superintendent of the Sweetwater Union High School District.

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