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Richardson file

Mark Richardson, superintendent for the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District, will retire at the end of the school year.

The Santa Maria Joint Union High School District's board of trustees on Tuesday took the first of several steps to replace Superintendent Mark Richardson, who will retire at the end of the school year in June.

At a special 9 a.m. meeting, trustees voted to appoint John Davis, the district's assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, as acting superintendent beginning June 10. Richardson, who announced his retirement Friday, spent the last seven years of his 31-year career in education as head of Santa Maria Joint Union.

Trustees also approved a $23,500 contract with executive search firm Leadership Associates to conduct the search for a permanent replacement. As the search progresses, the firm will work with the board, community and staff to solicit input on the new superintendent.

In 2018, the firm successfully conducted a search for the Guadalupe Union School District, hiring Emilio Handall to replace former Superintendent Ed Cora.

“The district is on the right path,’’ Richardson said in a release announcing his retirement. “We have an effective board, excellent leadership and a committed staff. We are in a great position moving forward. I want to thank everyone for making my time here worthwhile.’’

Davis will serve as the acting superintendent until a permanent replacement is chosen.

Reach reporter Mathew Burciaga at 805-739-2205 or mburciaga@leecentralcoastnews.com. Follow him on Twitter @mathewburciaga

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