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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary | The Regional
Review / DEVELOPMENTS IN ORANGE, RIVERSIDE, SAN BERNARDINO
AND VENTURA COUNTIES

District Taps Florida Educator for Top Job

May 12, 2000

YORBA LINDA — The school superintendent in Orlando, Fla., who was a contender for the Los Angeles superintendent's job, has been named head of the Placentia-Yorba Linda school system.

Dennis M. Smith, 48, formerly served as superintendent in Irvine and Laguna Beach.

He left the high-achieving Irvine schools three years ago, seeking a bigger school district where students face more educational challenges.

Smith said it is time for him to balance his career with his family life. Homesick, his wife and two sons moved back to Laguna Beach two years ago and Smith has been commuting between the two coasts ever since. Smith said he longed to be closer to teachers, parents and principals than an urban administrator can be.

"It was a critical decision in my life," he said. "Do I try for something larger and supposedly better, or do I balance career with quality of life and my family? I'm very pleased with my decision."

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