BY DAVID JAMES HEISS
For a second time, Maureen Latham has been pulled out of retirement to step up and lead the Beaumont Unified School District, now that she has been appointed its interim superintendent following an emergency school board meeting Tuesday night.
The school board abruptly placed their previous superintendent Terrence Davis on an indefinite administrative leave following the district’s Aug. 11 board meeting.
The first time Latham expected to retire — with the intention of moving to St. Louis where her husband’s family is from — was in 2012 when Beaumont’s previous superintendent Barry Kayrell got a job in another district, and Latham was asked to be the interim superintendent.
She had just retired as Beaumont’s assistant superintendent of Instructional Support Services.
Latham, who lives in Redlands, was recruited because of her experience as an administrator in Yucaipa, where she previously served as principal of Yucaipa High School, and conducting professional development for the Alvord Unified School District in Riverside.
She served as superintendent for Beaumont until she retired in 2016, when Davis was named to succeed her.
She will now temporarily succeed him.
Latham is an assistant professor and superintendent-in-residence at Azusa Pacific University.
“I was not aware of anything that preceded this invitation” prior to Tuesday night’s emergency meeting, Latham said in an interview.
According to Latham, school board President Susie Lara had reached out to her, asking if she would be interested in potentially filling in — once again — as an interim superintendent.
“I’ve often felt that I’m usually driving west instead of going east” to focus on her part-time current job in academia, Latham said. “Since I still know a lot of the administrators and teachers — there are a lot of new faces — I think this is going to be a really good bridge” for the district as it seeks a superintendent.
Latham anticipates that the district will likely approve a contract for her at its Aug. 25 board meeting, and she would be able to start on Aug. 26.
Staff Writer David James Heiss may be reached at email@example.com, or by calling (951) 849-4586 x114.