Tag Archives: SMUSD

San Marcos Unified Announces Passing of Former Superintendent Dr. Kevin Holt

Superintendent Dr. Kevin Holt

San Marcos Unified Announces Passing of Former Superintendent Dr. Kevin Holt
Message from Superintendent Dr. Andy Johnsen on the passing of former Superintendent Dr. Kevin Holt

It is with great sadness that the San Marcos Unified School District announces the passing of beloved former superintendent Dr. Kevin Holt.

Dr. Holt retired as SMUSD’s superintendent in June 2017, after 14 years with the district. He was hired as SMUSD’s superintendent in 2007 after serving as Assistant Superintendent of

Human Resources for three years. Dr. Holt briefly returned to SMUSD as interim superintendent in late 2020.

Dr. Holt discovered his passion for education at an early age, working as an instructional aide at an elementary school when he was 18 years old. He earned his BA and teaching credential from California State, Long Beach. He held a master’s degree in Education Administration from CSU Los Angeles and a doctorate in Educational Leadership from UC San Diego. Prior to joining SMUSD, Dr. Holt worked as a teacher and administrator for Long Beach Unified, Norwalk/La Mirada Unified and Temecula school districts.

As a lifelong educator, Dr. Holt was passionate about equity and access for all students. He co-chaired the San Diego County Office of Education’s Achievement Gap Task Force and helped form the San Marcos Promise Foundation, which provides scholarships and college admission support to SMUSD students. He was serving on the Board of the San Marcos Promise Foundation at the time of his death. Dr. Holt also served as a Board Member for the Boys and Girls Club of San Marcos. In 2015, Dr. Holt was honored with the Fran Aleshire Award for his outstanding leadership and regional involvement by the San Diego North Economic Development Council. His program Just Pick One was created to encourage North County educators and staff members to support and mentor a student. He led by example and continued to mentor students even after his retirement, making substantial progress towards closing the achievement gap in San Diego County.

Plans are being made to celebrate Dr. Holt’s life and legacy.

A bomb threat has forced an evacuation of San Marcos High School Tuesday afternoon

A bomb threat has forced an evacuation of San Marcos High School Tuesday afternoon. Please avoid the area. All students and staff have been evacuated to the fields. Traffic on San Marcos Blvd has been re-routed. Watch Ch 10 Facebook Live feed https://fb.watch/58dz7Af-XS/

UPDATE: 2:54 p.m.San Marcos High School students are being transported via bus to San Marcos Middle School (650 W. Mission Rd.) to be released to their parents/guardians who must show ID to pick up their child. Students must check out with school officials prior to being released. listed in the student’s Synergy profile and they must provide a valid picture ID upon pick up. Again, authorized adults must be present a valid picture ID or your student, regardless of age, will not be released to you. We appreciate your patience. Thank you.

From San Diego County Sheriff’s Watch Commander: Just before 1 p.m., @SDSheriff received a call about a pipe bomb at San Marcos High School in the 1600 block of W. San Marcos Blvd. Out of an abundance of caution, students & staff were evacuated to a safe location. No one has been hurt. Deputies, as well as Sheriff’s K-9s and dogs from other agencies, are conducting a thorough search of the campus. So far, no explosive devices have been found.W. San Marcos Blvd. between S. Rancho Santa Fe Rd. and Discovery St. is closed to traffic. EB traffic on W. San Marcos Blvd. is being diverted either north or south on S. Rancho Santa Fe Rd. WB traffic on W. San Marcos Blvd. is being diverted south on Discovery St.Please avoid the area around San Marcos High School until further notice. Follow us at @SDSheriff for the latest updates. We thank the public and the media for their cooperation.

Update – After an extensive search, no suspicious devices were located


New Superintendent to Lead San Marcos Unified School District into the Future

On April 20, 2021, the San Marcos Unified Board of Trustees approved an employment contract with long-time educator, Dr. Andy Johnsen, to serve as the District’s next Superintendent.  

Dr. Johnsen’s career spans twenty-seven years as a teacher, principal, director, assistant superintendent, and superintendent. Since 2017, he has served as Superintendent in Lakeside Union School District in east San Diego County. Before assuming the role of Superintendent, Dr. Johnsen led the district’s Educational Services Department as Assistant Superintendent. 

Dr. Johnsen’s journey in public education began in Los Angeles Unified teaching elementary students, working as a principal and assistant principal, and overseeing more than 100 independent charters as the district’s Charter School Division Director. In 2007, he and his family relocated to North San Diego County where he spent eight years as a principal in Poway Unified School District. In 2015, Dr. Johnsen was named Region 18 Principal of the Year by the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) for his visionary leadership and student-centric approach to his work. 

Throughout Dr. Johnsen’s storied career, he has undertaken an array of initiatives and outreach that have created an environment of collegiality with staff, families, and the community-at-large. Having worked in small, suburban, and urban districts makes him uniquely positioned for success in San Marcos. As a strong communicator and fluent Spanish speaker, he brings a deep sense of inclusivity and insight to the role. Dr. Johnsen’s ability to listen, build relationships and bring people together are trademarks that will elevate SMUSD’s mission to ensure all students are challenged, inspired, and poised to excel. 

“As we thoughtfully searched for our next superintendent, Dr. Johnsen’s humility, commitment, and focus on bringing all voices to the table made it clear to the Board that he is the right person for the job,” noted Board President Stacy Carlson. “Finding an experienced superintendent with a proven track record of success was a universal desire expressed by every stakeholder group who provided input during our extensive search. We are confident that Dr. Johnsen’s spirit of collaboration will lead SMUSD through these unprecedented times and beyond.”

The Board extends its appreciation to Dr. Johnsen and the other applicants who showed an interest in the position. Trustees also want to express their gratitude to SMUSD employees, parents, community members, and the ESS search advisers for their valuable feedback throughout this process. 

Looking ahead to his July 1st start date, Dr. Johnsen shared, “As a destination district, it brings me great joy to make San Marcos Unified my new home. I look forward to partnering with the Board, staff, students, families, and the greater community as we create our roadmap for an extraordinary future together.”

Sign up for San Marcos Chamber of Commerce Candidate Forum San Marcos Unified School Board

Candidate Forum San Marcos Unified School Board 10 7 2020 via zoom
Date: October 7, 2020
Time: 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM PDT
Event Description:

San Marcos Unified School Board Candidate Forum

The San Marcos Chamber of Commerce is hosting a Virtual Candidate Forum for San Marcos Unified School Board Candidates on Wednesday, October 7th from 5:00 – 6:30 PM.

This free event provides a forum that gives voters the opportunity to meet each of the attending candidates running for School Board, and learn about their positions on various school-related topics.

Voters in San Marcos Unified School District will vote for one trustee for each of the three areas.

  • Area A Candidates Joseph Lai, LeeAnne Leon, Jay Ross, and Carlos Ulloa
  • Area B Candidates Sarah Ahmad, Brian Epperson, and Pamela Lindamood
  • Area C Candidates Jamie Chamberlin and Victor Graham

All candidates with the exception of LeeAnne Leon have confirmed their attendance.

Questions for the candidates must be sent in advance to Rick@sanmarcoschamber.com, and received by September 30th. Questions that will be asked during the candidate forum will be selected by the San Marcos Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

Submit your questions – The San Marcos Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a SMUSD Board Candidate Forum

The San Marcos Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a Candidate Forum for the San Marcos Unified School District Governing Board candidates on Wednesday, October 7 from 5:00-6:30 pm. All candidates were invited to attend. The event is to be held via Zoom Webinars and is open to the public.
This is your opportunity to have your voice heard. The survey below allows you to submit a question or questions to be asked of the candidates. The Chamber’s Board of Directors will vote on all the submissions and the top three (3) questions will be asked of all the candidates. The candidates will receive the questions within 72 hours of the event.
Thank you for participating in this important election. The San Marcos Chamber is proud to facilitate this Forum for our members and the community. Please visit our website for information on the Chamber and to register for this event. The Forum will also be live-streamed on Facebook Live. http://survey.constantcontact.com/survey/a07ehbl3wn4kffw5c17/a011mkfh8jpep/greeting

To The San Marcos Unified School District Community from Tiffany Campbell Ed.D

To Our SMUSD Community:

Last evening at the Regular Meeting of the Governing Board, it was announced that an amicable separation has occurred between Dr. Carmen García and the San Marcos Unified School District. Dr. García’s full goodbye statement can be read here.  We thank Dr. Garcia for her service to the District, its students, employees and community, and we wish her well in future endeavors.

In light of Dr. Garcia’s departure, I have been placed as Acting Superintendent while our district begins the process of transitioning to new leadership. I have had the privilege of being a member of the SMUSD community for fifteen years, serving as principal of San Marcos Middle School and San Marcos High School before moving to the district office to serve as Director of Secondary Education, Assistant Superintendent of Equity and Secondary Schools, and my current position as Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Services.  My joy as an employee of this district has been eclipsed only by my joy of being a parent here as I have watched my daughter thrive in her elementary years at Joli Ann Leichtag and blossom into a self-confident seventh grader within the supportive environment of San Marcos Middle School.  It is through this lens, as a grateful employee and thankful parent within the SMUSD community, that I will work to serve as a collaborative partner with all of you as we move into the next phase of our school year.

I am happy to report that our Governing Board approved Safe School Reopening plans for both Elementary and Secondary schools, paving the way for a return to in-person instruction for our students when viable.  Details of the Elementary 2-Day Combo plan with possible phase-in timelines can be found here and the Secondary A/B Hybrid plan with its phases/timelines can be found here. Lastly, a discussion of questions and answers related to the safety protocols and instructional models that will be in place for the in-person return can be accessed here.

One additional note from our Board Meeting highlights.  Last night was the final meeting for Mark Schiel, our current Assistant Superintendent of Business Services.  Mr. Schiel has been an invaluable and trusted member of our SMUSD team for over five years; his knowledge, passion, and innovation has been an asset to our district.  As he transitions to his new role as Chief Business Official of Santa Clara Unified School District, I offer him a collective thank you from our district and a personal one from me; you will be missed.

As we ramp up our preparations for In-Person learning, you will be receiving additional communications in the upcoming days.

Warm Regards,

Tiffany Campbell, Ed.D

San Marcos Unified Superintendent Carmen García resigns – The Coast News Group

The San Marcos Unified School District (SMUSD) announced at Tuesday’s board meeting that Superintendent Dr. Carmen García has resigned effective immediately. Assistant Superintendent Tiffany Campbell will step in as the acting superintendent of the district.García was not present at the board meeting, but the district posted a farewell message from the former superintendent on its website.In the letter, García thanks the board for the “amicable separation” and “for the opportunity to work together these past two years with phenomenal students, teachers, parents, staff, administrators, and the community at large.”García goes on to thank teachers, students, administrators, the district and the community as a whole for their service and dedication to the district. She concludes with a note to the SMUSD Community: “As our world continues to shift with the twists and turns brought forth by a global pandemic, our students rely upon the ongoing courageous conversations and support that will provide the best education for all SMUSD scholars. Thank you for your dedication in moving forward with this endeavor in order to create an equity-based system that supports all students, from all backgrounds with multidimensional needs, so that, one day, “all means all” rings true everywhere.”García was appointed by the board in Oct. of 2018. She came to San Marcos from San Diego Unified School District where she served as a lead principal at San Diego High School.

Source: San Marcos Unified Superintendent Carmen García resigns – The Coast News Group

SMUSD Informational Webinar on the 2020/21 School Options Recording

Informational Webinar on the 2020/21 School Options recording
Dear SMUSD Parents,
As a follow up to tonight’s webinar, please visit the website link below to access the presentation and video recording. Both will assist with your family’s Learning Pathway selection: Remote Instruction to Start/In Person When Viable or Leading Edge Virtual School.
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