Why Bill Kowba Wants the Job

The Board of the San Diego Unified School District will vote this afternoon to name Bill Kowba its new superintendent.

Kowba, currently the interim superintendent for the district, was selected last week as the sole finalist pending contract negotiations.

When asked why, given the financial crisis and management history of the district, anyone would even want the job, Kowba said.

"I say because San Diego Unified and all the other districts in this county will survive these unprecedented fiscal times folks have to come together and get us though this challenge and I'm willing to give it everything I've got," said Kowba.

He suspects he may have been chosen because he has known history of being able to work with the board, a knowledge of the district's priorities, problems -- and the big challenge ahead.

"The 800 pound gorilla in the room is the fiscal crisis," he said.

And Kowba is a financial guy not an educator. A non-traditional background that he says can only help achieve the goal of getting the district through the financial crisis and not lose site of student achievement.

He also says his ability to be straightforward and honest with the board will provide stability to a district after years of turmoil.

Under terms of the contract, he will be paid $250,000 a year plus expenses, including automobile costs.

Kowba beat out two other finalists: Debbra A. Lindo, currently the CEO and Chief Academic Officer for College Track and Dale W. Vigil, former superintendent of the Hayward Unified School District.

Kowba and his wife Maureen have been married for 36 years. Maureen is a retired navy nurse corps captain, a veteran of Desert Storm, who was deployed to Haiti and is now working in healthcare. His son lives in Houston working as a sports team administrator.

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