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School District Searches for New Superintendent

Patch speaks with Michele van Zuiden, president of the Los Gatos-Saratoga Union High School district board, about plans to fill the vacant position.

The school board will hold a special meeting Tuesday to delve into the task of searching for a replacement for Superintendent Cary Matsuoka, who submitted his resignation Tuesday night with the Los Gatos-Saratoga Union High School District.

Matuoka will take over as head of the Milpitas Unified School District.

Patch spoke with Michele van Zuiden, president of the board Los Gatos' school district, regarding plans for filling the position.

As for who will step in until a permanent superintendent is hired, van Zuiden said it's a school board decision that will be discussed Tuesday or June 21. 

“All of that is to be decided,” van Zuiden said during a phone interview. “Obviously we need to talk to people. It's required by law to have someone in place by the 30th."

In finalizing Matsuoka's hiring, van Zuiden said the district met with the Milpitas Unified School District.

 “We did meet with their board, several of the school leaders and teachers and parents,” van Zuiden said.

“It's the last step; they come and interview all of us. When we hire a new superintendent, we will do the same thing.”

Van Zuiden said Matsuoka had not been a superintendent before he joined the Los Gatos-Saratoga Union High School District, and she thinks he's definitely more qualified now to move onto a larger district.

“We helped him learn the way and the ropes,” she said. “Certainly, in five years, he's grown a lot. I would think he's definitely a stronger candidate than he was five years ago.”

She said the new job is a step up for Matsuoka, saying, “It's a great step for Cary—it's a much larger district.”  

Although van Zuiden said it's never a good time to fill such a position, she did say that now is a better time than it could be, because the district is stable, with two great principals and a new parcel tax bring in revenue.

“We feel we have a stable district right now, [so] if you had to pick a time, this was the time,” she said.

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