Emily Bloomfield has announced that she will resign from the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District board of education by summer because her husband has a job opportunity in Washington, D.C.
Bloomfield has been on the board since 2002 and was reelected in the November election, in which she got the most votes of any board candidate.
“We will be moving this summer, so it has not been determined when I will transition off the board,” Bloomfield said.
“I will work this out with my colleagues to ensure the smoothest transition and the least disruption for the team and the district.”
Bloomfield’s husband, Byron Auguste, director of the McKinsey & Company consulting firm, will go to Washington, D.C., where he will lead the company’s new Social Sector office that will focus on the world’s most intractable problems, such as extreme poverty, climate change and health care.
Bloomfield said she is sad to leave Santa Monica and the district, but is also very excited and supportive of her husband’s opportunity “to have an impact on the most important problems facing our society.”
“I will miss Santa Monica greatly,” Bloomfield said. “I have many friends here, and I feel my family and I have developed deep roots and a wonderful network of friends and colleagues here. I will miss this work and this district a great deal.
“I have met so many impressive teachers, support staff and administrators who work in this district and make it so great. I value the shared commitment to raising student achievement for all while narrowing the achievement gap.”
But Bloomfield, who says she thinks the community involvement and support for Santa Monica-Malibu schools are among the best in California, is confident the board will be in good hands after she leaves.
“We have dedicated people on our board who bring different backgrounds and perspectives, but a truly shared passion and commitment to students,” she said. “This makes for a healthy discussion which advances the level of thinking and decision-making.”
“I believe that Emily has been a very good member of the board and that her involvement will be greatly missed and hard to replace,” said Tim Walker, deputy superintendent for the district.
“I came on the board after Emily did, and I really considered her to be one of my mentor’s my first couple of years,” said school board president Kathy Wisnicki. “Even now, I will often call her.
“She presents a balanced, thoughtful opinion. She’s really open-minded.
“When she presents her opinions at board meetings, she’s always very thoughtful about her decision making and is always very clear.
“Emily is a friend as well as a colleague, so of course I’ll miss her.”
But Wisnicki also pointed out that a normal part of being on any board is transition in membership and being able to adapt.
“And we grow from having different perspectives, so I think that whoever replaces Emily will bring a different perspective to the board and I’m sure that we will eventually grow from whatever it is a new board member will bring,” Wisnicki said. “That’s always the hope.”
When Bloomfield resigns, the school board will solicit applications for Bloomfield’s board seat and then interview a group of candidates, Walker said.
The board will then select a person from the group candidates to fill Bloomfield’s seat for the duration of her term.
“I understand that the board could also choose to keep her seat empty until the next time that seat is up for election, but that is not likely,” Walker said.
Bloomfield says she has appreciated the support, help and counsel she’s received from people during her time on the board, and hopes her successor will receive that same support.
She also said she’s proud of the progress of the district.
“There will always be transitory issues that need to be dealt with, but fundamentally this district has made impressive gains in student achievement over the last four years and this should not be overlooked,” Bloomfield said. “Nor should we be diverted from continuing to build upon this work, because it is imperative that we work to ensure that all students succeed.”
Bloomfield plans to remain involved in education in Washington.
“I am not sure in what capacity, but I am sure the right opportunity will arise,” she said.