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The Cosca Group is experienced, proven, and authentic. Having a proven track record for over twenty years, we are confident that we will achieve your district’s goals and meet your community’s expectations. 

Contact Info

San Marino Unified School District

1665 West Dr,
San Marino, CA 91108

District and Community

The Board of Education of the San Marino Unified School District seeks an exceptional and collegial leader. The Board has the expectation of a long-term appointment with a leader who can maintain and build on the District’s strengths and potential as their next

Superintendent of Schools

District and Community

San Marino Unified School District (the District) serves the city of San Marino, a small suburban residential community northeast of Los Angeles. The internationally renowned Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens are located in the city, and Caltech is nearby in the city of Pasadena. The District benefits from partnerships with both institutions. The District operates two elementary schools (K.L. Carver Elementary School and W.L. Valentine Elementary School), one middle school (H.E. Huntington Middle School), and one comprehensive high school (San Marino High School). There are approximately 2,900 students enrolled in transitional kindergarten through grade twelve. The District is locally, nationally, and globally recognized as a leader in academics, arts, and athletics. 


The District works closely with the San Marino community to build capacity, opportunity, and improvement so that students reach their full potential. Parents and community members contribute generously to the District through the educational foundation, PTA’s, and other organizations. The entire community supports the District through two parcel taxes.


San Marino is a diverse community. More than 18 ethnicities are represented among students, the largest of these being Chinese.


The District’s record of extraordinary academic achievement can be seen by many indicators, including:

  • San Marino students consistently score in the top 1% of all students in the state on the Smarter Balanced English/Language Arts and Mathematics assessment.
  • An extraordinarily high percentage of high school graduates have been determined by the state to be college-ready, and approximately 98% have gone on to higher education. The District prides itself on assisting each and every student to get into the college that is best suited for them.
  • According to the 2022 Niche Rankings, the District is in the top 1% in Los Angeles County, California, and the USA.
  • Also according to 2022 Niche Rankings – Best School District in California, #7 of 438; Districts with the Best Teachers in California, #7 of 698; Best School District in L.A. Area, #2 of 100; Districts with the Best Teachers in L.A. Area, #3 of 144
  • All four schools have received the California Distinguished School Award and the National Blue Ribbon Award.
  • Most recently, Huntington Middle School was the only middle school in California and one of 45 middle schools in the nation to receive the National Blue Ribbon Award this year.
  • The San Marino High School class of 2022 has 15 National Merit Scholarship Finalists.
  • San Marino High and Huntington Middle Schools have award-winning programs, both locally and nationally in Mock Trial, Science Olympiad, Robotics, and Speech and Debate.
  • San Marino High School offers 17 Advanced Placement courses and is considering adding two more for the fall.
  • San Marino High School also offers an extensive variety of Career Technical Education (CTE) courses. Moreover, SMHS provides award-winning Visual and Performing Arts Education. 

The District serves its diverse community through multiple programs and innovative opportunities for student learning. The District’s goals are to be on the leading edge of excellence in academics, arts, and athletics, to maintain long-term fiscal health, to thoroughly integrate technology, and to improve and enhance communication strategies.                 

District Strengths, Needs/Critical Issues, and the Characteristics Desired in a New Superintendent

Board members, parents, certificated and classified staff, students, and community members participated in a process to identify the strengths and needs/critical issues of the San Marino Unified School District, and the characteristics desired in their new Superintendent. The process was organized and facilitated by members of The Cosca Group. Stakeholders participated in this process through in-person and video-conference meetings, phone calls, and an online survey. The Board of Trustees prioritized those elements as follows:   

Strengths of the District 

  • Outstanding academic achievement; students are motivated life-long learners and perform at high levels
  • Strong, dedicated teachers 
  • Parents and community members are committed to excellence and are generous; they help as volunteers and provide extraordinary financial support
  • A comprehensive, rigorous K-12 instructional program to prepare students for college and career 
  • A wide range of excellent programs available to students, including dual enrollment, Advanced Placement, Career technical Education, Visual and Performing Arts, and Athletics
  • Partnerships with Caltech, Pasadena Community College, Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens, and other agencies
  • Safe community and schools, with very few discipline problems
  • District has been particularly responsive during the pandemic, with all staff members focusing on student safety

Greatest Needs/Critical Issues Facing the District

  • Declining enrollment
  • Finances – lack of sufficient state funding requires reliance on local funding sources
  • Need to continue to hire and retain the very best teachers and administrators
  • Professional development needs to be designed to meet the needs of all students
  • Need to upgrade some facilities

Desired Characteristics of the New Superintendent 

  • Outstanding communicator
  • A strong, confident leader with a collaborative leadership style, able to build an effective team
  • An academic leader with teaching experience and extensive leadership experience with a background in curriculum and instruction
  • Financial expertise and experience
  • Will focus first on all students, encourage student engagement, and promote programs to meet students’ needs and interests
  • Will understand the community and be active and visible in the community and schools
  • Transparent and a good listener
  • Innovative, a problem solver, able to engage all stakeholders to work together
  • Will make a long-term commitment to the district

The Selection and Application Process

Mr. Joel Shapiro and Dr. Jan Britz of The Cosca Group (TCG) have been retained by the San Marino Unified School District Board of Education for the search, recruitment, screening, and selection process for the new Superintendent of Schools. 

Interested applicants must submit all of the following to be received by The Cosca Group on or before April 26, 2022. 

  • Completed Application Form (as provided herein), including a video of   responses to questions on the Application Form
  • Personal Letter of Application
  • Resume including record of professional education and professional experiences
  • Letters from five professional references (three of which must be current, within the past 12 months) 

During the screening process, reference checks will be made with those familiar with candidates’ professional performance. Board members may visit the district and community of the final candidate. 

Download and Send Completed Application and Related Information electronically to: 

The Cosca Group 
c/o Mr. Joel Shapiro and Dr. Jan Britz

All material must be received by the deadline of 5:00 p.m. on April 26, 2022.


The successful candidate will be offered a multi-year contract with a competitive and negotiable salary based on qualifications and experience. 

For additional information, please contact: 

  • Mr. Joel Shapiro (626) 497-5059 / 
  • Dr. Jan Britz (805) 796-9772 / 

Nam Jack, President
Jane Chon, Vice-President
C. Joseph Chang, Clerk
Michael Killackey, Member
Shelley Ryan, Member