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July 21, 2004

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Palo Alto Online

Publication Date: Wednesday, July 21, 2004


Golton to retire from school district Golton to retire from school district (July 21, 2004)

Expected to stay on through October

by Alexandria Rocha

The Palo Alto Unified School District is on the hunt again: Bob Golton, the deputy assistant superintendent of business services for seven years, announced this week he will retire at the end of August.

After 40 years in the state's public school system, Golton -- who lives in San Francisco and spent seven years in Palo Alto -- said he's looking forward to taking a long-awaited sabbatical. He said he'll miss the superintendent, the business services staff and the community as a whole.

"I was here in both good times and bad, when we had five years of unprecedented growth and now there's been a couple years of budget reductions," he said. "That's the kind of thing I'm good at."

The district won't necessarily look for a replacement within, but it's district policy not to exclude any possible candidates. Marilynn Cook, assistant superintendent of human resources, said it's unknown at this point whether the district will hire a search consultant. The position, however, will be posted this week in a few publications, with an advertised starting salary between $140,000 to $150,000, said Superintendent Mary Frances Callan.

In May, the district filled two top administrator positions from within. Scott Laurence, former principal of Gunn High School, will take over as head administrator at Palo Alto High School while Noreen Likins, vice principal at Gunn, will move up the ladder to head that campus.

Though Golton will retire Aug. 31, he will continue in his position through October. Cook said it would be ideal to have the new person in place two weeks before Golton officially leaves.

"Dr. Golton has been very flexible on his intention to leave the district in good shape," Cook said.

Callan added the district is already looking into hiring an interim assistant superintendent if a replacement hasn't been hired in time, said Callan.

"We are trying to find someone who can do the kind of superb job that he has done in terms of the business and finances of this district," Callan said. "People trust his numbers and understand when he says this is the bottom line."

Staff Writer Alexandria Rocha can be reached at

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