Laguna Beach selects new superintendent

Thomas Spence, Reporter

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Starting July 1, Jason Viloria, previous superintendent of San Dieguito Union High School District, will replace Sherine Smith, who has been superintendent of Laguna Beach Unified School District since 2010. As Smith is retiring after this school year, Viloria has signed a four-year contract to head our schools.

“This is an amazing opportunity. This district has great leadership, and I can’t wait to find ways to continue moving forward with this district to make it even better for students,” said Viloria.

The board has listened to the community’s needs and has selected a superintendent accordingly.

“We have to make sure that the board does represent us, and that we feel heard,” said PTA president Laura Keller.

Board members have expressed confidence in Viloria’s leadership.

“I feel very strongly that Viloria will mesh with not only our LBUSD family, but our community as a whole. His professionalism, candor and honesty during the interview process were refreshing. He has a strong background in curriculum, most recently with STEM, which will be appreciated by our families and staff,” said school board member Ketta Brown in a district release.

Viloria is an active member in the community; this will help him become aware of the concerns that other parents have in the district.

In my spare time, I ride horses with my daughter almost every weekend, attend soccer games to watch my son, enjoy jogging and riding my bike and working in my yard. I also like to SUP when I have time and just being outdoors,” said Viloria.

Viloria’s love for the outdoors will surely help him relate to the active and healthy Laguna Beach community.

Over the course of Viloria’s career, he has been a high school teacher, assistant principal, executive director of educational services and an associate superintendent of administrative services.

Viloria obtained his bachelor’s degree from University of California, Santa Barbara, his master’s from San Jose State University and his doctorate from Pepperdine University.

“As the community gets to know him, they will be impressed with his vast knowledge base, his sense of humor and his dedication to this community and to his new position,” said school board president William Landsiedel.

Principals from Viloria’s last district have expressed that he is a great leader and that he has inspired growth in their school community.

“Dr. Viloria is a fantastic leader, and he will be missed here in San Dieguito. Insightful and creative, Dr. Viloria does a great job of both understanding how to help students thrive and making connections with teachers, students, administrators and parents,” said San Dieguito High School Academy principal Bjorn Paige.

Viloria and the school board will soon collaborate to set a clear vision for the future of the district.

“Dr. Viloria has been an amazing asset to our district.  His leadership, mentorship and friendship have all been student-centered, which represents the core of who he is.  Students first! Dr. Viloria is an extremely compassionate person who influences many to be their best in whatever capacity.  He’s definitely a ‘real,’ everyday guy who happens to be a talented educator in a suit,” said Adam G.Camacho, principal of Earl Warren Middle School from the San Dieguito Union High School District.

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