The Board of Education is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Linda de la Torre as Superintendent of the San Marino Unified School District, following the conclusion of a nationwide search. With 33 years of experience in SMUSD and an extensive educational background, Dr. de la Torre will continue to lead the district in delivering a world class education for our community schools. Superintendent de la Torre led the District through a challenging year in 2021-22 with a focus on safety, social emotional health, inclusive learning environments, fiscal stability, and a return to the 4 As in our schools – Academics, Athletics, Arts, and Activities.
Under Dr. de la Torre’s leadership, the schools worked collaboratively to align goals to meet the District’s priorities and the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) to pursue exemplary teaching, flourishing learning environments, and meaningful relationships. Teachers and staff engaged in professional development to address learning loss due to the pandemic, mental health initiatives, and diversified instructional strategies. In addition to safety upgrades on all four campuses, technology and cybersecurity was enhanced to serve and protect our students. The Board recently approved a financially healthy budget that responsibly accommodates our schools, staff, and students. Opportunities for student engagement persisted to meet the academic, social, and emotional needs of all learners through the return of rigorous and student centered in-person learning, comprehensive college and career advising, athletics championships and achievement, a multitude of visual and performing arts, student-driven clubs and activities, and the expansion of Wellness programs at all four sites.
Dr. de la Torre’s experience in the District, coupled with her educational training and professional network, creates a unique and valuable perspective from which to develop innovative educational programs. While serving the District administration, Dr. de la Torre performed numerous roles that have given her a thorough perspective on all school district operations, including Business Services, Human Resources, and Student Services. These roles provided her with the opportunity to deliver much needed support to our leadership team, professional educators, and administrators. Educational degrees in Organizational Leadership/Business Management and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Southern California have trained Dr. de la Torre to develop strategic practices using evidence-based research to cultivate continuous organizational improvement. Dr. de la Torre’s deep roots in the San Marino community and San Gabriel Valley will be valuable assets as she seeks to cultivate strong partnerships and build sustainable success for the future.
San Marino Schools Foundation President Alison Moller values Dr. de la Torre’s long-standing history with the District and deep understanding of how our District works and what makes it special. President Moller congratulates Dr. de la Torre as they look forward to “building on the successes of this school year to support our students.” PTA Council President Jacqueline Chuang shared the same sentiment in recognizing the history of the PTA’s strong partnership with the district in supporting our students and their families: “In recent years, Dr. de la Torre has been an integral part of this collaboration, helping to guide our schools through some difficult times. As we look forward to new challenges, the PTA is excited to move forward under her experience and leadership.”
Upon her appointment, Dr. de la Torre expressed a deep pride and appreciation for all that our District has accomplished over the last several years. “I am fully committed to working with our Board of Education, executive team, principals, directors, teachers and staff partners to build on our current programs and practices to ensure that we continue to deliver a world class education for our diverse population of students.” Echoing her words are those of San Marino Teachers Association President José Caire, who expressed “appreciation for Dr. de la Torre's knowledge and continuity, and is looking forward to working with her to move forward with our work as a district and a team.”
Board President Jeanie Caldwell commends Dr. de la Torre and humbly looks to the community to embrace her for the continued success of our Superintendent and the District. President Caldwell announced the appointment at the final Board meeting of the 2021-22 school year on June 28, 2022, in accordance with Brown Act requirements. Additional information regarding Dr. de la Torre’s appointment will be shared in a future regularly scheduled Board meeting, in compliance with education code.
Later this summer, the Board will engage in strategic planning with Dr. de la Torre to set goals and priorities for the years ahead. With input from school site leaders and staff, students and parents, and community members, the District will continue to examine:
- The continued expansion of partnerships in college dual enrollment and early college academies, Career Technical Education pathways, and early childhood learning.
- Curriculum/textbook adoption, AP and Honors course offerings, accreditation, and scheduling.
- Comprehensive professional development to strengthen teachers and counselors’ existing knowledge, skills, and abilities.
- Support for diversity, equity, and inclusion among our student population and in the workplace.
- Work with our regional and District special education directors to deliver instruction with fidelity and fiscal responsibility.
- The exploration of safe, cost-efficient, and environmentally responsible facilities.
- Providing on-going support and guidance to our two new elementary school principals.
The District thanks the community for their engagement and support of our schools. The Board shares Dr. de la Torre’s commitment to build on the existing successes of SMUSD and cultivate strong relationships with all interested educational partners to ensure that our legacy of excellence in education continues well into the future.