REGION —The San Dieguito Union High School District board of trustees interviewed seven applicants for the open Trustee Area 5 seat Thursday night, coming to a quick decision to appoint business executive and Carmel Valley parent Ty Humes to the board.
There still remains a possibility of a special election if enough support in Trustee Area 5 is found for the action.
“We had seven excellent applicants, they all brought so much, and I think anyone could have brought their own unique skills to our district, but I am excited for what Mr. Humes will bring to our district,” Trustee Katrina Young of Area 2 said after the motion was made to appoint Humes.
After a lengthy interview process, the four board members gave their list of top three candidates and all of them included Humes. Trustee Michael Allman (Area 4) quickly made the motion to appoint Humes, which was seconded by Trustee Melisse Mossy (Area 3) and agreed to unanimously.
Humes has been a resident within the San Dieguito Union High School District for just over 14 years and has two children. His older daughter is a freshman at Torrey Pines High School and his son is in fifth grade at Ocean Air Elementary.
Humes, senior executive and global head of Wondros, Inc., an international creative agency, said he did not consider running when the seat was up for election in 2018 but that he felt his business background could bring a different kind of decision-making that the board may be lacking.
“I thought that at least if I could have the opportunity to be on the board, I could help bring some more immediate decision-making,” Humes told The Coast News.
Humes believes he can bring that with his education experience as president and chairman of the Del Mar Schools Education Foundation, where he helped to create the STEAM+ program in Del Mar.
A native of the Bronx in New York City, Humes’ mother was an educator while his father was a member of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters union. His mother’s background as a teacher may have influenced Humes’ decision to get even more involved in the school board.
“I just said that I didn’t really learn anything if I can’t go out and actually at least first get involved in my children’s education right here to help address issues and lend my voice and experience,” Humes said.
One of the many issues facing the district is calls from students, parents and teachers for improved efforts to address problems in equity and diversity. Humes is personally passionate about that issue.
“With my current company, Wondros, I oversee and have been the chief architect of our international diversity, equity and inclusion program, which includes people from other countries, religions,” Humes said. “It’s about as inclusive as it can get.”
Humes also expressed his desire to The Coast News to present a plan to the board to address the problems of equity and diversity in the district.
“Hopefully we have enough time between now and the summer and get something in front of everyone to vote on,” Humes said.
Still, there is a possibility under district bylaws and the state education code that a special election could be forced if enough support is found in Trustee Area 5. There was some support for that during the public comment of Thursday’s meeting, and the public will have 30 days to file such a petition with the county superintendent.
The board of trustees is largely against the idea of a special election, saying it would cost the district upwards of $500,000.
There appears to be support from the teachers union to work to file such a petition.
“We have little confidence that this school board majority will choose a replacement who is best qualified to serve Area 5 and the district as a whole,” said Duncan Brown, president of the San Diego Faculty Association in a message to members before the appointment was made.
If no petition is filed, Humes will remain on the board for the remainder of the term following Kristin Gibson’s departure from the district last month. The seat is next up for election in November 2022.