Education

Paso Robles schools have a new superintendent after chaotic year

Paso Robles High School pool construction on hold

Paso Robles school district officials have put a long-awaited aquatic center on hold. Construction was to begin this year, partially funded by a $95 million bond measure voters approved in 2016. Project bids came in over budget.
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Paso Robles school district officials have put a long-awaited aquatic center on hold. Construction was to begin this year, partially funded by a $95 million bond measure voters approved in 2016. Project bids came in over budget.

Six months after the sudden resignation of the Paso Robles Joint Unified School District superintendent, the board of trustees has hired a familiar face to take on the role as top administrator.

Curt Dubost, 64, will start the first day of a three-year contract beginning on July 1, having already served as superintendent in nearby school districts for nearly 25 years, according to a news release from the district. The contract will officially be approved at a trustee meeting on May 14.

Dubost was superintendent of the Templeton Unified School District from 1992 to 2002 and then the Taft Unified School District from 2002 to 2007. Years later in 2010, he came out of retirement to lead the San Miguel Joint Unified School District, where he is currently employed.

Dubost was chosen to replace previous district leader Chris Williams, who resigned in early December 2018 along with director of student services Kristin Shouse and director of athletics Rich Clayton. Two months later, the principal of Paso Robles High School resigned.

Dubost will have his work cut out for him.

Faced with a $3 million funding deficit in the 2020-2021 fiscal year if no action was taken, district leaders in February cut about $2.1 million from next year’s budget. That included early retirement incentives to 30 teachers, the elimination of three management positions and various program and contract reductions, according to previous reporting by The Tribune.

The district, which serves more than 6,200 students in the Paso Robles, San Miguel and Pleasant Valley areas, must cut an additional $800,000 from the budget the following year.

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San Luis Obispo County Superintendent of Schools Jim Brescia, left, presided over the first Paso Robles Joint Unified School District meeting in December 2018 after Superintendent Chris Williams resigned. Paso Robles board members, from left, Joan Summers, Joel Peterson and Chris Bausch listen as Brescia models how disagreements at meetings can be managed. David Middlecamp dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

Dubost said in a news release that he is committed to prioritizing the service of students.

“I am very proud of the confidence they have in me,” Dubost said. “My commitment to students has shown in all the districts where I have worked, and I plan to continue my commitment to students in Paso Robles as well.”

Dubost comes from a family of educators with longtime roots in North San Luis Obispo County that date back to the 1880s, according to the district news release. His wife, Kate, is a retired educator from the Atascadero and Paso Robles school districts, and his son Ted is member of the Templeton Board of Trustees.

The Dubots made a foray into acting recently, when Curt Dubost and his family members played non-speaking roles in the movie “Destination Wedding.” Much of the 2018 romantic comedy, which stars Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder, was filmed at Dubost Vineyard & Winery in Paso Robles.

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