Ralston Has New Principal

Scott Carson comes to Belmont from Cabrillo, a K-8 Pacifica school; he will start his new job July 1.


When students return to class in the fall, they'll be greeted by their new principal, Scott Carson.

Carson's appointment was made at the May 17 meeting of the ) Board of Trustees meeting. His official start date will by July 1, 2012. The district made the formal announcement on Wednesday. He comes to BRSSD from the Pacifica school district.

Carson will fill the position vacated by in February to become the district's director of educational services.

The process of finding a new principal

According to BRSSD assistant superintendent, the district sought input from Ralston staff, parents and students on the qualities and characteristics they would like in their new principal. The position was posted in March on Ed Join, a California recruiting site for educators.

Following an initial paper screening of applicants, Roy said five candidates were selected for panel interviews. The panel included teachers, support staff, a parent, an elementary school principal, a Ralston administrator and a district director.

Three candidates were then selected for a final interview, which were conducted by a panel that included the superintendent, assistant superintendents, and two board members.

Personnel began conducting reference checks as soon as the final candidates were moved forward. The board reported the appointment of Scott Carson following a closed session at its May 17 meeting.

Most recently served as principal of Cabrillo in Pacifica

For the past six years, Scott Carson has been served as principal of Cabrillo, a K-8 school in the Pacifica School District where he implemented a variety of strategies to engage the students and prepare them for the 21st century work environment.

Carson helped develop a discipline policy that improved school climate and provided consistency and improved accountability. During his tenure in Pacifica, Carson has chaired the Language Arts and Math Committees, served on the District negotiating team and as management liaison for the Pacifica Education Foundation and a successful parcel tax campaign.

The education of a principal

Carson earned his Masters of Arts in Education Administration from San Francisco State University, a Masters of Arts in English from Humboldt State University, and his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Tufts University. 

His teaching experience spans the range of upper elementary, high school and university, including serving as assistant principal at Lowell High School in San Francisco where he managed the counseling office, deans, attendance, and Special Education Department.

Ready for the Rams

Impressed with the high level of student achievement, parental involvement, and talented and dedicated staff at Ralston, Carson said he believes “Strong leadership requires the ability to listen to all stakeholders, forge alliances among disparate groups, and leverage a site’s strengths to assist in areas that need development.” 

When not attending all of the school functions and enthusiastically supporting students and staff, Carson said he enjoys reading, tennis, hiking, music, and following basketball.

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Jeff Selman May 26, 2012 at 02:39 AM
First of all, congratulations both to Mr. Carson and Ralston Middle School. This is very exciting news for the school. For those desiring information about the district and its administration, there are lots of resources, including the district's website and the Facebook group FOBRSS (https://www.facebook.com/groups/198483600208947/). The district has one Superintendent, and two Assistant Superintendents -- one for Educational Services and Personnel and the other for Business Services and Operations. The district office administration is very lean, and approximately 3% of the budget is for admin. An additional 8% is for maintenance and operations of schools, and the remaining 89% directly supports student achievement. There are a lot of efforts underway in the parent community to make sure that the entire community is aware of the excellence that is being achieved in our schools. We have some of the top rated schools both on the Peninsula (with schools on a par with those in more recognized districts) and the state, and the academic growth which has occurred here over the last decade exceeds those of better funded districts; facts which we should be both celebrating and looking to continue.
Joan S. Dentler May 26, 2012 at 06:18 AM
Thank you for your insight Jeff and for clarifying the district personnel question posed by a commenter.
Vivian May 28, 2012 at 04:05 AM
When will Patch (Dentler) write an update article about the new superintendent search for the district - that would be a good piece for the community. There was an article a while back about the board not renewing Emerita's contract (which I thought ended her position June 2012) and thus the district needs a new superintendent very soon for a smooth transition. Emerita was a finalist for the Stockton Unified district but apparently that fell through. The Stockton district is 10 times the size of Belmont/RWS so it would have been quite a move up.
Vivian May 28, 2012 at 05:14 AM
Basically we're quibbling over semantics. This new, highly compensated senior administrative position might as well be an asst superintendent position - perhaps it just wouldn't have looked good on paper to have that third title for a small school district. No wonder the parent school community is working hard to place another parcel tax on the ballot to pay for this administrator and the new teachers' union contract. Thanks for the link to the parcel tax Facebook group.
Steven Tsujisaka May 28, 2012 at 09:48 PM
Hopefully Mr. Carson can get Ralston back into shape and redeem itself. From all of the rumors Carlmont students hear from middle school siblings and parents, it sounds like the school's gone down hill since I left. Because of the horrid rumors of drug use amongst the students, staff members arguing during staff meetings, and massive amounts of bullying (physical, verbal, emotional, and cyber), most parents that I've talked to are planning on having their children attend private school or transfer to another district rather than trusting Ralston with their kids' education. I'm saddened to hear all of the bad news that comes from Ralston since I thought Ralston was in good hands when I graduated in 2008. WHAT HAPPENED?!


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