AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant New housing developments are expected to bring about 3,000 more students to the area by 2015. The district is considering building five new schools to accommodate them. As the district braces for these changes, Gibson said there’s no place that he’d rather be, and that he’s ready to move the school system forward with its mission. “This is a great place to be. Truly,” Gibson said. “I want to continue on the path that the district is on and grow with that.” Following the announcement, some board members immediately began joking about Beverly who? They were referring to Superintendent Beverly Silsbee who will leave her position June 30 after 27 years with the district. Silsbee, who was seated in the room, laughed along with the others. CASTAIC- There was a passing of the guard Wednesday at the Castaic Union School District as a new superintendent was hired to replace the current one who’s headed for retirement. Jim Gibson, assistant superintendent of business and administrative services, was welcomed with applause and other congratulations by the school board and district staffers after the morning announcement about his new position. The news came minutes after the school board in a special meeting approved his contract, which calls for a starting salary of $125,815 and $500 a month for mileage on his car. When he takes the helm July 1, Gibson will oversee a district expected to nearly double in size in the next 10 years with enrollment and schools. The laughter broke up what had been a tense couple of days leading up to the board’s 3-1 approval of Gibson’s contract Wednesday. Some residents and one board member were angry that the hiring process didn’t involve more candidates than Gibson. The board in December hired the California School Boards Association to conduct a $6,000 search that did not go beyond the district’s administration building. Districts typically use this type of search when there’s a strong candidate in mind for the job already employed in the school system. Others that have done this include the Santa Barbara, Sierra Sands Unified and Marysville Joint Unified school districts. In all cases, the sole person under consideration for the job was hired. Two residents attended Wednesday’s special meeting to press the board to interview more candidates. Member Steve Sansone said he bristled at the charges that the board didn’t do its job during this superintendent search. He said the board has seen Gibson at work for about 1 years and that Silsbee strongly endorsed him after working side by side with him. Still, Sansone said Gibson’s hire was not a slam-dunk. “This was never a done deal,” he said. “Gibson had to demonstrate to the board that he was the most qualified person.” The sole dissenting vote for Gibson’s contract came from member John Kunak who congratulated the new superintendent and then told the room that he was concerned that more parents weren’t involved in the process. Kunak also pushed the board to open the interviewing pool to more candidates. “I think Mr. Gibson is qualified, but I can’t say he’s the most qualified because I haven’t seen other candidates,” Kunak said. Gibson said it was difficult to hear that some in the community were wary of his hiring but that he knew the district supported him. He said he’ll have to show the others that he can do a good job in his new role. “You’d like to move into any seat with support,” Gibson said. Gibson has spent nearly his entire life in education. He began his career in education in 1979 as a substitute teacher at Burbank High School and worked his way up over time to become principal in 1988. After three years, he became principal of Glendale High School, a position he held for six years. He then worked directly for the Glendale Unified School District as administrator of educational technology and information services. He was hired by the Castaic district in 2004. Gibson earned a doctorate degree in educational leadership from the University of Southern California in 1996. He has two master’s degrees, in educational leadership and administrative services from California State University, Northridge, and the University of LaVerne. He graduated from CSUN in 1979 with a bachelor’s degree in physical education. Member Laura Pearson did not attend Wednesday’s special meeting. President David Huffaker said Pearson was out of town and that she had planned to vote in favor of Gibson’s contract. Sue Doyle, (661) 257-5254 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!