Longtime local educator top pick for San Dieguito schools superintendent

Hiring follows tumultuous leadership era in the district


The San Dieguito Union High School District Board of Trustees announced on May 10 the choosing of Anne Staffieri to be the district’s next superintendent. (Courtesy photo)

North Coast Current

The San Dieguito Union High School District is hiring a new superintendent with deep local ties, the Board of Trustees announced May 10.

Anne Staffieri — who was named Superintendent of the Year by the California Continuation Education Association in 2021 — currently serves as the superintendent of the Escondido Union High School District, a position she has held for four years. Before that, she was superintendent of the Ramona Unified School District from 2016 to 2019.

Further contract negotiations and Board of Trustees approval, slated for May 17, are the final steps in the hiring process, according to a San Dieguito district news release. Tina Douglas will continue to serve as interim superintendent until Staffieri is formally hired.

“The Board was drawn to her forthright leadership style, depth of experience, and passion for the well-being of the SDUHSD community,” Board of Trustees President Rimga Viskanta said in the district’s news release. “Educators throughout the county speak highly of her ethics and ability to successfully lead a school district. She will be able to hit the ground running and lean into the positive relationships she already has in our area, including connections with the superintendents in our feeder districts.”

Staffieri’s ties to North San Diego County education include her time as a student. She earned a master’s degree in curriculum development from California State University San Marcos and is a graduate of Torrey Pines High School in Carmel Valley, a San Dieguito district campus.

“It is an honor to serve the community in which I grew up,” Staffieri said in the news release. “I look forward to partnering with the Board, staff, students, and families to build upon San Dieguito’s reputation as a district of opportunity and choice. I am confident that we will accomplish great things together.”

She holds a doctorate in educational leadership and a bachelor’s degree in biology from Brigham Young University.

Her 30 years of work in education includes high school biology and Spanish teacher, principal, director and assistant superintendent of human resources. While in Ramona, Staffieri received the Golden Oak Service Award from the Sun Valley Council of PTAs.

In addition, Staffieri is involved with professional organizations such as the Association of California School Administrators and California School Board Association. She currently serves on the CIF State Federated Council and was the CIF San Diego Section’s board president from 2020 to 2022.

The hiring of a new superintendent follows a tumultuous era in district leadership after accusations of stereotyping, board infighting and resignations led the Board of Trustees to first place on leave and then dismiss former superintendent Cheryl James-Ward over the spring and summer of 2022.