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The San Diego Unified school board has picked Grenita Lathan, who now oversees elementary school principals, to serve temporarily as the second-in-command in the massive school district.

Lathan will serve as interim deputy superintendent, temporarily replacing Chuck Morris, who came with recently departed Superintendent Terry Grier and will leave just a few weeks after him. She was hired by Grier from Guilford County, North Carolina, where he previously served as superintendent.

The deputy superintendent oversees the educational side of schools such as curriculum and instruction— an even more important job now after the school board tapped a logistics guru who isn’t an educator as its interim superintendent.

As a school district insider who was already overseeing principals under Grier, Lathan represents a conservative pick for the school board. The pick surprised principals — gasped out loud when Lathan was announced at the school board meeting. The only school board member to vote against Lathan was President Shelia Jackson.

EMILY ALPERT

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