Vital Heads South

File photo. Kirsten Vital

Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) Superintendent Kirsten Vital will be leaving Alameda to take the reins of the Capistrano Unified School District (CUSD). Vital’s new employer announced that its school board settled on Vital on Saturday, June 14. The Capistrano Dispatch reports that the CUSD undertook a national search but replaced those search firms last month to focus on California candidates.

CUSD board president John Alpay stated in a press release that announced the decision that he believed his district had found the right successor for its current superintendent, Joseph Farley, who is retiring on June 30. 

In making its choice the CUSD board cited Vital’s ability to put (the anticipated facilities) bond before voters. According to The Dispatch, CUSD “was forced to raid its deferred maintenance funds during (a 2011) financial crisis and many schools including facilities throughout South Orange County have major needs,” 

The Dispatch is reporting that Vital will meet the CUSD board of trustees on Wednesday, June 25. “We wanted to ensure that we had the right person for this very important role during this critical time in our district,” Alpay told The Dispatch. “Because of her demonstrated track record of success, the board of trustees is certain that Kirsten Vital is the right leader who will take our district to new heights of student achievement.”

Vital will take charge of a much larger district in her new job. CUSD encompasses 195 square miles and serves 53,000 students who attend 55 schools in seven cities. 

San Juan Capistrano lies near the Pacific Ocean about 425 miles south of Alameda, about equidistant between San Diego and Los Angeles.