By Jacob Wilson/Garden Grove Journal
Clark Hampton, assistant superintendent of business services for the Westminster School District, has been named deputy superintendent for business and support services for the Capistrano Unified School District.
“I want to thank everybody for a great almost five years,” Hampton said. “I’ve never worked in a better place. Everywhere I look people are focused on educating students.”
Hampton’s last day with Westminster is April 30. He will start immediately with Capistrano May 1.
The WSD Board of Trustees said its official goodbye to Hampton on April 19.
“It’s with heavy hearts we part ways with Mr. Hampton,” said Dave Bridgewaters, board vice president. “We’ll be missing him.”
Hampton oversees the district’s financial services departments, including transportation and nutrition services. Hampton’s primary job has been to navigate Westminster through recent economic troubles, including major cuts in state funding. He pointed to the district’s philosophy of cooperation as the key.
“We worked through financial challenges because everybody was able to work collaboratively,” Hampton said. “School districts need to work together.”
At Capistrano, Hampton will have a much bigger budget to work with at $325 million, more than four times greater than the Westminster School District budget. But he must also contend with a deficit of up to $50 million.
Hampton has also been managing construction projects funded by Measure O. The property tax measure provides funding for new and improved facilities that have educational elements built in to their designs.
“It was exciting to work with a team focused on forward-thinking education,” Hampton said.
One of the measure’s first major projects, a new two-story discovery building at Stacey Middle School, will break ground next week and will be completed by July 2013.
Discovery buildings feature science labs and a creative studio with a technology zone for digital arts and a crafts corner for more hands-on based projects.
Johnson and Warner middle schools are also getting discovery buildings.
Hampton joined the WSD in July 2007, just a few months before current superintendent Richard Tauer, who praised Hampton for caring about students first and for being what he called “an outstanding teammate.”
“This is the best team I’ve ever worked on, and Clark is going to be really missed because he’s part of that whole balance,” Tauer said. “It’s been a real pleasure having him as a teammate.”