By Brian Park
The Capistrano Unified School District and trustees gave a warm sendoff to retiring Superintendent Joseph Farley on what was his last board meeting on Wednesday, June 25.
Speakers praised Farley for steering the district through troubling times, including its worst fiscal crisis. They applauded his openness and willingness to speak with teachers, parents and staff during his four years at the helm.
Farley received framed proclamations of thanks from each of the cities in Capistrano Unified, as well as recognition from local elected officials. Trustees also pitched in to buy a new custom watch, inscribed with Farley’s name and the Capistrano Unified seal.
“I count you as a friend. You’ve been a great mentor,” said Board President John Alpay.
Farley, who will take on a part-time job with a national consulting firm tasked to find school officials, reciprocated the well-wishes with trustees and district staff.
“Am I completely ready for the watershed moment of retirement from this wonderful work? Probably not,” Farley said. “But I’m leaving it with an enormous sense of gratitude and appreciation.”
The board also unanimously approved the contract with its next superintendent, Kirsten Vital, who currently serves as superintendent of the Alameda Unified School District in the Bay Area.
Her contract runs through 2018 and costs $305,000 per year with no automatic increases. Vital will receive a one-time allocation of $15,000 for relocation expenses.
She is set to begin Aug. 26. Deputy Superintendent Clark Hampton will lead until then.