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Meet Dublin’s New Superintendent – Dr. Dave Marken – Confirmed for a Two Year Term

July 2, 2019

DUBLIN, CA–On June 25th, the Dublin Unified School District Board of Trustees convened for their last public meeting of the month. As opposed to typically non-urgent items, the Board met in an electric environment to resolve two critically important issues. At stake was the responsibility of ratifying the contract to transpose Dr. Dave Marken from an interim role of Superintendent to a confirmed role. The elevation was contingent upon affirming his employment contract to one that would extend through Spring 2021.

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The other significant issue was the awarding of the construction contract to Midstate Construction Corporation of Petaluma, CA. Also, at stake was the debate between limiting the structure to two stories or expanding it to three stories. After a lively discussion, a motion was made to accept the original vision of a three-story Engineering & Science building that will include 16 classroom spaces and a HUB to support student learning.

While this all sounds rather simple, the ability to get to both outcomes was fairly complex. In the matter of an employment agreement, Dr. Marken agreed to extract himself from retirement to accept this opportunity. This all came after the search firm Hazard Young Attea Associates (HYA) went through an exhaustive process of interviewing all local stake holders in order to solicit feedback on a desired profile. The somewhat ambitious timeline offered by HYA meant that qualified candidates would be produced by August 2019. The result of this FTE hire seems to suggest that Dr. Marken was the most desirable individual to guide DUSD immediately and for some fixed term. Objectively, he has been able to nurture relationships throughout the district and has helped to foster peace with the Dublin Teachers Association with the successful agreement to a two-year labor contract.

Subsequent to his unanimous approval by the Board to become the district’s new Superintendent, we had the opportunity to visit with Dr. Dave Marken. We hoped to capture his feelings about this new elevation and what he would set his sights upon in his newly minted role.

OneDublin.org: A predominant theme from our last conversation was an emphasis on Hope, Trust and Transparency. Let’s take another look at these qualities given your new extension. How do you plan to employ these concepts?

Dave Marken: “At our management summit at the end of July that will be addressed with all leadership. Trust is earned not automatically given. We need to earn that trust in an ongoing manner.

“Transparency begins with a clear communications plan. Sarah Lopez and Chip Dehnert are developing a communication plan for the district. That is on a macro level. On a micro level everyone in the organization needs to lead by example. The message will need to be clear and communicated through a variety of sources. There is an excitement that is beginning in DUSD. Projects are on the move. The School Board are making the difficult decisions and we are on the right track. A second comprehensive high school is on track, Science and Engineering at DHS has been approved.”

OneDublin.org: We had previously talked about short, mid and long-term goals during your status as an Interim Superintendent. Your status has changed. How does this impact your views on these time ranges?

Marken: “It does not really change my views other than I will be my charge to continue to lead this great organization. I want to be sure that we get these projects completed or started to give the Board ample time to pursue the next Superintendent.”

OneDublin.org: An immediate issue was raised at the most recent Trustee meeting related to the debate over agreeing to the construction of a two versus three story Science & Engineering building. You expressed the danger of entering “Analysis/Paralysis” and the potential of an “exodus of some our most phenomenal staff and leaders.” Would you like to further articulate?

Marken: “Sure, at some point you take all of the information that has been presented and make a decision. Staff are charged with providing the Board with information and a recommendation.”

OneDublin.org: Our observation is that your arrival/validation has been embraced. With your tenure secured, how will you continue building bridges with all stakeholders in this community?

Marken: “We have to repair many strained relationships with our partners. I have taken great pride with our working relationships with the City of Dublin, DPIE, EDCC, PFC, Dublin/San Ramon water district, etc. I want to help enrich our amazing partnerships with them. In addition, I will meeting with our parent groups to continue what we have started over the last few months.

“DUSD’s message of academic excellence, state of the art facilities, developing the whole child socially and emotionally, strong partnerships, a cohesive governing Board, collaborative efforts with our bargaining units, parents supportive and invested in their child’s schools and a continued excellent team of leaders at both site and district levels are my values that I wish to continue to build and value.”

OneDublin.org would like to thank Dr. Marken for his insights. We wish him the best as continues to craft and materialize a vision for the Dublin Unified School District. Only a handful of professionals would be up to this task and the community is fortunate to have “rediscovered” one.

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