It has been a "seamless" transition, a school board member said Thursday of the move to appoint Pat Kelley superintendent of the Murrieta Valley Unified School District.
Kelley’s new position will be effective Oct. 1 following a unanimous vote by the school board. He replaces Stan Scheer, who on Sept. 5 announced he had accepted a superintendent position in Littleton, Colo.
Rather than conduct an outside search, the board announced its intention to hire Kelley, a 22-year district employee who was promoted from assistant superintendent to deputy superintendent in June.
“We see this transition as seamless as any transition can be,” said Board Member Margi Wray. “…As a school board, we are honored to moved from excellence to excellence.”
Those in attendance, which included Kelley’s father, applauded following the board’s vote.
“I think we all want to make this motion,” Board Member Robin Crist said.
The next time the board meets Kelley will take his seat as superintendent.
“Two weeks ago I was still shell shocked, I was emotional,” Kelley said, about the opportunity.
“…I sit here this week and look at this very good man who is a mentor,” he said to Scheer. “The efforts you have made will last a long time.”
Kelley’s salary is still being negotiated; his contract is expected to be ready for enactment at the board’s Oct. 11 meeting.
When Kelley was promoted in June, he did not take a pay raise. His salary remained at 141,369; $152, 831 without the current 7.5 percent pay cut taken by district administrators in light of the state budget crisis.
Also at the Oct. 11 meeting, the district will begin to assess further budget cuts due to an expected $10- to $12-million shortfall that could hit as early as the second semester, officials said.
Pending the November outcome of Proposition 30, that amount could jump to $21 million for the 2013-2014 school year, according to Assistant Superintendent Stacy Coleman.
Kelley said he has already begun addressing impending cuts by sending out an email to district employees. The next step is to inform the public, he said.
“People know we have a budget problem but they can’t wrap their head around it,” Kelley said. “What we will do on Oct. 11 is illustrate…Our entire community needs to know about it and be involved.”
Kelley plans to hold four community forums next month.
“These forums will allow me to meet with parents and interested community members and share with them my hopes for the district and the budget challenges we face,” Kelley said.
The one-hour forums will be held at the district support center, 41870 McAlby Court. The public is invited to attend on one of the following dates:
—10:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 12;
—1 p.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 17;
—6 p.m to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 23; or
—6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 30.