Alpine Union School District Superintendent Resigns

Superintendent Tom Pellegrino will step down after the end of the school year

The superintendent of the Alpine Union School District will step down from his position later this year, a district spokesperson confirmed Friday.

According to the spokesperson, Superintendent Tom Pellegrino will resign, effective after the end of the 2014 school year.

Pellegrino made the announcement to his staff and Alpine parents, explaining that he and his family will be moving to Costa Rica, where his kids will attend a dual immersion school. 

"Since before our children were born, my wife and I set a goal to raise our kids in a Spanish speaking country for at least two years to give them the gift of bilingualism, teach them about simplicity, and to expose them to a true global perspective," said Pellegrino in a release. "This is the last chance to accomplish these goals before our kids would re-enter the States in middle / high school. We have the opportunity to do it, and we are seizing it."

Pellegrino has held the position for the last four years, calling it an honor to serve Alpine students. 

A press release lists Pellegrino's recent accomplishments, including a Spanish immersion program, technological infrastructure enhancements and student leadership/character focus.

The list also mentions an agreement with the Alpine Teachers Association that "will bring financial stability to the district."

But that agreement was hard to come by. 

Last month, Alpine teachers went on strike. The school board had approved a 7.85 percent salary cut and an $8,000 cap on health benefit contributions, which went into effect Jan. 1.

The teacher’s strike ended on Feb. 25 after an agreement was reached, Pellegrino said.

Under the agreement, which begins April 1, teacher salaries will be cut by 5.5-percent, not by 7.5-percent as originally proposed. Teachers said they were happy with the agreement and were glad to return to their classrooms.

This was the first teacher’s strike in San Diego County since 1996.

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