San Dieguito board honors its two departing trustees

The SDUHSD board recognized outgoing members on Nov. 17.
(Karen Billing)

The November San Dieguito Union High School District board meeting marked the last for President Mo Muir, who is stepping off the board after two terms, and for Trustee Julie Bronstein, who lost her re-election bid. Before the newly elected board members Rimga Viskanta, Jane Lea Smith and Phan Anderson take office next month, the board took time to recognize the two outgoing trustees and their service to the district.

Prior to being elected to the board in 2014, Muir served six years on the Encinitas Union School District board, as well as on the board of the Friends of the Encinitas Library.

Vice President Michael Allman said in speaking to colleagues and parents a word that often came up about Muir was “accessible.” He said parents commented that she was always willing to take their calls and emails and that she was “always there for them”. Allman recognized Muir for her dedication to getting kids back to school during the pandemic, her commitment to college prep, and for her support for building a district pool to support aquatics athletes.

In her comments, Muir said the dedicated teachers and staff made her time on the board a great experience for her.

“No matter what you’re doing it takes your whole family to get behind you,” she said, taking time to thank her husband Mark and son Scotland, a La Costa Canyon alum, for their support. In the last year of her tenure, Muir faced questions about her residency as she cared for her 101-year-old mother-in-law in Lake Tahoe. At the meeting, Muir shared that she had recently passed away: “She will live forever in my heart.”

During public comment, several parents offered words of gratitude for Muir, including former interim superintendent Lucile Lynch.

“We’ve had our share of differences but when it came to student issues, you have always listened,” Lynch said, complimenting especially her support for special education students. She noted that in 2017, Muir was against the district’s plan to move the adult transition program into portables on the Earl Warren campus which led to special education reforms and the program now known as COAST Academy on the new Requeza Educational Center.

Muir has stated she hopes to stay involved in other capacities to continue to help young people realize their full potential.

Bronstein was not in attendance for her last meeting but offered a written statement and one that was read by Trustee Katrina Young. She reflected on her year on the board since being elected in a 2021 special election and wished Anderson all the best when she begins her new role next month.

“I am forever grateful to the many generous, kind and thoughtful people who care passionately about providing a high-quality public education for all of our students,” she said.

During her time on the board, Bronstein was able to visit many classrooms and campuses and was impressed by what the district has to offer, and the teachers and staff “going the extra mile” to keep their students engaged: “I feel privileged to have met so many inspiring students over the past year, and they give me great confidence and hope for the future,” she said.

She said she also heard the many challenges faced by marginalized students and she encouraged the board to lift up the voices of students and listen to their thoughtful insights.

Bronstein left off with a quote from Coretta Scott King, who stated that “The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.

Said Bronstein: “I pray that compassion and kindness prevail in our district.”