Former RSF Education Foundation Chairs Support Cristian Zarcu

By Hazel Bentinck

October 5, 2022

The RSF Education Foundation is a non-political body and does not endorse any candidate.

As former Chairs of the Rancho Santa Fe Education Foundation, we have a history of advocacy for our school district. We have worked closely with members of the school board, the administration, and the parent community. We understand our school is facing complex issues which demand strong leadership. We believe Cristian Zarcu is the candidate best equipped to address the challenges we face.

Mr. Zarcu is a business owner with extensive experience in the financial sector and he has spent 7 years on the board of the University of Idaho, where he helped hire a new dean for the College of Business and Economics. This experience will be invaluable as the RSF school district hires a new superintendent. He is without question, the most qualified candidate.

Our school is at a crossroads. Academic performance has plummeted. The percentage of students testing below grade level is at an unprecedented high. Attrition from the middle school increases rapidly as families leave for private schools because of academic rigor. Mr. Zarcu is committed to remedying this. Elected to the Site Council, he conducted a community comparison analysis, gathering data from neighboring schools to gain an understanding how we can challenge our advanced learners while ensuring swift remediation for struggling students. The Site Council presented these findings to the District administration back in March but was met with resistance: our current Superintendent does not wish to implement an honors/advanced learning pathway though this is standard among surrounding public schools. Cristian was not deterred, circulating a petition requesting implementation of differentiated learning which was signed by over 200 parents.

Cristian has been a relentless champion for our children. He is committed to improving school safety. We have significant safety concerns. In 2019 we invested in an electronic lock system, yet it is routinely thwarted by propping the front door open (recall an unsecured door allowed the Uvalde shooter access).  We had an intruder on campus last year burglarizing classrooms and had an accused pedophile on staff since 2019. The administration minimizes these incidents, referring to the alleged predator as a “temporary substitute”, but this individual was on our campus every single day of the last academic year, appears in the yearbook, and was allowed to chaperone students on field trips. Mr. Zarcu recognizes the extreme risk this presents to our children and is committed to making our campus safer.

He understands the issues and the sense of urgency with which they must be addressed.  All too often we are presented with what appear to be stalling techniques as our administration defers action in favor of “additional assessments” to further evaluate issues which are urgent now. Only 34% of our 8th graders met grade-level milestones in science.  This requires immediate intervention, not parent placation.

We are grateful for our experience on the Education Foundation. We love our school and want to see our neighborhood have a thriving, successful school and be a community asset again. We know Cristian Zarcu is the candidate to lead us.  Please join us in voting for Mr. Zarcu for the Rancho Santa Fe School District board.

Hazel Bentinck, Julie Buechler and Cheryl Salmen

Leave a Reply