The Santa Monica-Malibu Board of Education has unanimously selected Supt. Eugene Tucker of the ABC Unified School District in Cerritos to succeed retiring Supt. George Caldwell.
Selection of Tucker on Tuesday night ended a 4 1/2-month search involving more than 150 applicants. Caldwell, 60, will retire in June after 10 years as superintendent.
Tucker, 56, said the Santa Monica district "has tremendous potential. They have a high degree of support for education." Among his major concerns, he listed finances and declining enrollment.
School board member Connie Jenkins said details of Tucker's contract have not been completed. "The board will vote on his contract at the Dec. 9 school board meeting," she said. Caldwell's salary is $69,500.
Jenkins said Tucker was the unanimous choice of the board and was ranked as one of the top candidates by a majority of the 26-member advisory committee composed of parents, teachers, classified workers and administrative staff members. The committee reviewed six finalists.
The finalists were recommended by the Arthur Young executive search firm, which reviewed applications from candidates nationwide, said Janice Walker, district director of public information.
Tucker, she said, will begin working with the district in January as a consultant. He earned his bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees from UCLA and has been superintendent of the ABC district for 10 years. He is married and has three children.
ABC has 22,000 students. There are fewer than 10,000 in the Santa Monica-Malibu district.
The board also appointed Richard Williams as its president, replacing Jenkins, whose one-year term expired. Della Barrett was made vice president..