TOP 2 EASTSIDE SPOTS OPEN SUPERINTENDENT, BUSINESS OFFICER TO RETIRE.
LANCASTER - Eastside Union School District will be conducting simultaneous searches to replace two top administrators: the superintendent and the assistant superintendent for business services.
Both Superintendent Colleen Larson, 57, and Assistant Superintendent Mike Wagenleitner, 61, plan to retire at the end of June.
``It's going to be a hard year for the board, but we are going to get through it,'' said Larson, whose retirement plans previously had been publicized.
The board is spending $6,000 for the California School Boards Association's executive search services to help recruit a new superintendent.
The board will pay $11,900 - plus costs for travel, printing and advertising - for School Services of California to conduct a search for a business-services administrator.
``It's three times harder to find business officers for schools. There are not so many out there. It's a technical job,'' Larson said.
If necessary, Wagenleitner has agreed to stay past June as a consultant until his replacement is hired.
Wagenleitner, a San Diego area resident, was hired at Eastside in 1997. A 35-year educator, he at one time worked as a superintendent at a small school district in Fresno County.
``It's time,'' he said about retiring. ``I've been in the business for over 35 years. I want to so some other things.
``It's been a really good experience for me. I got to be here while the district was growing, expanding and building schools and implementing education reform,'' he said.
His wife retired last year from her job with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. The two plan to travel and spend more time with their two grandchildren.
Larson has been superintendent since August 2002 and has spent 30 years in education. She was Eastside's assistant superintendent for educational services for six years before being hired as the top administrator.
Larson said she plans to finish writing a semiautobiographical book about a family and the differing views each member holds of a certain event.
With a doctorate in homeopathic medicine from the American University of Complementary Medicine, she also plans to begin a homeopathic practice.
Karen Maeshiro, (661) 267-5744