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Dublin school board appoints Marken as superintendent for next two years

Interim coming out of retirement to provide stability until next permanent leader found

In a unanimous decision Tuesday night, the Board of Trustees voted to remove the interim tag from Dave Marken's title and appoint him as the new superintendent of Dublin Unified School District.

Marken, a former Dublin High School principal and Newark school superintendent who emerged from retirement in April to serve as DUSD's interim superintendent following the sudden departure of former superintendent Leslie Boozer, will continue in his role through the end of the 2020-21 school year, according to district officials.

“Being here for the last few months has rekindled my passion for this town and solidified my desire to see this district reach its potential and to help address some of the immediate issues it faces,” Marken said in a statement Wednesday morning. At the time of his arrival, the board was clinging to a quorum, amplifying uncertainty within the district.

“We face many challenges in Dublin,” Marken stated. “I challenge the board, administrators, teachers, parents, students, the city, and our community to move forward together to help us create the world-class educational experience our entire town deserves.”

Just last week, Marken made an offer to the board to stay in his current position for another two years, conditional on successful contract negotiations, to provide stability while the district searches for its next permanent leader.

Board President Amy Miller called Marken’s installation “a major win for the people of Dublin” that will let the district “revise our search timeline and engage in an extended, inclusive search for the district’s next long-term superintendent.”

“His willingness to give up two years of his retirement is a tremendous gift to the people of Dublin,” Miller said, adding that Marken’s service “will allow the district to experience stability as we enter the coming school year and as we face a number of significant projects.”

Marken’s contract, which becomes effective on Monday and expires June 30, 2021, includes a salary of $330,000 for a total of 225 working days per year. There are no raises, paid holidays or housing allowance. According to Chip Dehnert, spokesperson for DUSD, Marken “will cease to receive his pension until he retires in June 2021. At that point, the pension will be updated to include any additional contributions."

Hazard Young Attea Associates, the firm selected in April to assist with the hunt for a new district leader, presented a modified search timeline during the board meeting. HYA will continue the recruitment process using input already gathered from stakeholders with the goal of finding the new superintendent by spring 2021.

The district now has just one leadership role to fill for the moment. Currently only three of the five board seats are occupied, but Gabrielle Blackman won the June 4 special election for the open Area 4 Trustee seat. (The Alameda County Registrar of Voters has 30 days from the election date to certify the election results, which left Blackman unable to cast a vote for Marken’s appointment.)

The Area 3 board seat has been vacant since March, after former trustee Dan Cunningham resigned for personal reasons. That seat will be filled in a special election set for Nov. 5.

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