Jason Remynse

Jason Remynse of Carmel Valley was appointed on March 31 to the CUSD board.

With 14 candidates vying for one vacant seat on the board of the Carmel Unified School District, things might have gotten testy on Friday morning, March 31, as the board set out to select a new board member. Instead, it was a feel-good dynamic as competitors praised each other and the four current board members praised all 14 applicants for their interest. 

Ultimately, the board voted 4-0 to appoint Jason Remynse of Carmel Valley to a seat vacated by Tess Arthur, who resigned in February

Remynse, an electrical contractor, is a 1997 graduate of Carmel High School and has children enrolled at Tularcitos Elementary School, Carmel Middle School and Carmel High School. 

Remynse says he is enthusiastic about helping promote a broader view of education for CUSD, to think beyond academics and support workforce readiness and technical training opportunities as well. 

"I am very analytical," Remynse told the board in describing his skill set. "I can integrate with anybody. There is always something I can find in common with someone when I walk into a room."

To that end, Remynse and the other two finalists—Jacob Odello of Carmel and Matt Glazer of Big Sur—were congratulatory toward each other, as well as the entire group of 14 applicants. (Board members encouraged Glazer to run for the board in 2024 when the district transitions from an at-large electoral process to a district-based electoral process, with five districts covering different geographic areas.) 

The four board members expressed appreciation for the volume of interest in serving. 

"For the first time in a long time, I am so inspired and so encouraged to be on this board of education," said Sara Hinds, board president. "I would like to thank all of you for bringing that back into my heart—there are days when it seems untenable."

There are plenty of reasons it might see untenable, and after a congratulatory, unanimous appointment of Remynse, the board reconvened in a closed-session meeting for about three hours to turn to some of those challenging, divisive issues. 

Among the tough discussions today, as reported out to the public after closed session: Two CUSD students were expelled for one year, one for causing injury to another student, and one for bullying, committing an obscene or vulgar act and behaving violently toward another student. 

The board also continued its discussion on the district's ongoing reckoning with harassment claims and concerns about long-term failures to effectively address widespread issues, and "received an update on the comprehensive investigation of additional claims regarding the handling of sexual harassment allegations at Carmel High School and whether mandatory reporting obligations were met," according to the clerk's report out of closed session. 

Among the swirling investigations, another one was added to the mix. The board agreed to hire a third-party consultant, Bob Henry with School & College Legal Services, to conduct a review of Superintendent Ted Knight's actions in relation to recent personnel matters—including the removal of Carmel High School Principal Jon Lyons amid allegations that Lyons failed to properly handle a sexual harassment complaint.

Knight will be placed on administrative leave starting tomorrow, April 1, pending the outcome of that review. 

"The board is informed this is best personnel practice for preserving the integrity of any pending investigation," according to the clerk's report. 

Knight was not available for an interview Friday afternoon after the board meeting. An acting superintendent who will serve while he is on leave has not yet been determined. 

Also during closed session, the board voted to post a job listing for CHS principal.

Sara Rubin loves long public meetings, red pens and reading (on newsprint). She has been editor of the Monterey County Weekly since 2016, and has been on staff since 2010.

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