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Marsha Sutton raised an interesting issue in a recent San Diego News Network column:

Kathy Lorden, vice-principal of Serra High School, will soon be working under (ahem) her husband David Lorden, newly appointed Area Superintendent for Area 8 which includes the Serra and Patrick Henry high school clusters. Who do you think might get preferential treatment in Area 8 when it comes to a battle for the attention of the area supe?

Something else strikes me as even more important than who can get the area superintendent to pay attention: If David Lorden is evaluating the Serra principal — who supervises his wife — would the Serra principal feel pressured to treat Kathy Lorden differently to please her husband?

Interim Deputy Superintendent Nellie Meyer confirmed that David Lorden and Kathy Lorden are, indeed, married and said the potential conflict of interest “is something that we’re looking to change.” But it isn’t clear exactly how. Meyer said the school district hadn’t spoken to the Lordens yet and didn’t want to comment until that happened.

Though Meyer was loath to comment on specific fixes, one obvious way to avert a conflict would be to move Kathy Lorden to another school or ask her husband to supervise another area. Any changes would have to happen soon: David Lorden and the other area superintendents are supposed to start work at the beginning of July. I’ll keep an eye on it and keep you posted.

— EMILY ALPERT

Rob Davis

Rob Davis was formerly a senior reporter for Voice of San Diego.

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