School board member Caroline Lucas switches hats to become part-time teacher

by Contributed Content on July 25, 2019

Menlo Park City School District Superintendent Erik Burmeister announced this week the hiring of School Board Member Caroline Lucas as a part-time Spanish teacher.  As California law prohibits district employees from simultaneously serving on the School Board, Lucas, who is vice president of the Board, has resigned from her Board position effective August 1, 2019.

Dr. Lucas has served on the MPCSD School Board since her election in November 2016. An experienced Spanish educator and teacher mentor whose own children graduated from Menlo Park city schools, Dr. Lucas most recently served as a Spanish and English Language Development teacher in the neighboring Las Lomitas School District for six years. Prior to teaching there, Dr. Lucas gained seven years of experience teaching Spanish in several other school districts as well as 12 years of coaching teachers through the acclaimed New Teacher Center.

Superintendent Burmeister regularly provides Board members with hiring updates, recently remarking that finding hiqh quality and properly credentialed world language teachers, especially those willing to work part-time in the area, is challenging. Following an update, Vice President Lucas expressed her potential interest in applying. “I was thrilled that she might be interested,” commented Superintendent Burmeister. “I was also apprehensive about the potential of losing her valuable voice on the School Board.” Ultimately, Dr. Lucas did apply, interviewed with Hillview staff, and was recommended for hire in mid-July.

At its August 29, 2019 meeting, the MPCSD School Board will discuss the process of replacing Dr. Lucas. The meeting begins at 5:00 p.m. in the District Office Board Room at 181 Encinal Avenue, Atherton.

In accordance with California Education Code, sections 5091-5093, the Board may choose to appoint a member of the public to serve out the remainder of the resigning Board member’s term; or, the Board may agree to hold an election on the next regularly scheduled election day, not less than 130 days after the order of the election. Should the Board not act, an automatic election is triggered after 60 days. The public is invited to attend the discussion and to provide input during public comment.

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