Sitting in the School 5 auditorium, where, at a similar Board of Education meeting 16 years earlier, he had been named superintendent of Oceanside schools, Dr. Herb Brown announced at the Oct. 16 meeting that he will be retiring at the end of the school year.
“I started working on July 27, 1983,” Brown, 63, said. “I could have begun working on July 1, but I had just moved to Oceanside a month earlier, and the superintendent of schools at that time, Victor Lecesse, suggested that I not start right away, but that I take three or four weeks off to hang all the pictures in my new house. Because once I started I wouldn’t have time, he said.
“He was right,” Brown continued. “I hung my pictures and then spent 30 years working on behalf of our children and on behalf of our taxpayers, the past 16 years as superintendent of schools. Well, some pictures are crooked, others need to be re-hung, and more importantly, it’s time for some new pictures.”
Brown came to Oceanside as the assistant superintendent for business, the position now held by Louis Frontario. Brown had the job for 12 years, and then became the assistant superintendent for instruction. On July 1, 1997, he was promoted to superintendent.
His announcement was a surprise to everyone at the meeting except the board trustees, who had known about it for six weeks. The resolution the board passed to accept Brown’s retirement was not on the agenda.
“We all knew this day would eventually come, but we all hoped it wouldn’t be for several more years,” board President Sandie Schoell said to Brown. “But the time has come for us to share your abilities and talents with others, as you move forward with your life and take it to the next level.”
Brown’s last day as superintendent will be June 30. Over the course of the school year, he will work with retired Superintendent Dr. James Tolle to conduct a search for his replacement. Tolle will be paid $5,000 for his work.
According to Schoell, school boards have two options when looking for a new superintendent: a promotion from within or a nationwide search. Oceanside opted to conduct a search to find the most qualified candidate — though residents of the district are welcome to apply as well. Tolle has taken part in more than 40 such searches.