Ty Humes was to have served the remainder of Kristin Gibson’s term, through November 2022.
Ty Humes was to have served the remainder of Kristin Gibson’s term, through November 2022. Image via tyhumes.com

Less than two months after being appointed to a vacancy on the San Dieguito High School District board, Ty Humes has been ousted in the wake of a special-election drive.

Stacy Brandt, a spokesman for the San Diego County Office of Education, on Thursday confirmed that enough petition signatures were certified by the county Registrar of Voters Office on Wednesday to remove Humes from his Area 5 seat.

“Details are being worked out on when the special election will be held,” Brandt told Times of San Diego. “The county superintendent of schools will order the election shortly to be conducted in accordance with Ed. Code section 5091(c)(2).

The district’s interim superintendent also confirmed Humes’ status: “Yesterday evening … the San Diego County Superintendent of Schools notified the district that pursuant to Education Code section 5091(c)(2), a petition to hold a special election for Trustee Area 5 was deemed legally sufficient thereby ending the provisional appointment.”

As a result, said a district spokesman, Humes didn’t attend Thursday night’s school board meeting.

North Coast Current first reported the Humes news.

Thursday night, Humes, 57, said he was “completely surprised” when notified Wednesday night. He said he’s in the process of setting up a campaign fundraising committee and a “kitchen cabinet” of advisers.

Calling himself a representative of parent interests and a “healer,” he said he’d give the campaign “2020%” — running as the incumbent.

In a phone interview with Times of San Diego, he added: “I believe this is a litmus test (of) involvement of parents in the educational process. … The COVID situation has woken up the parents, not just locally but nationally.”

District trustees on April 22 named Humes — the first Black on the school board — to fill the Area 5 seat, vacated by Kristin Gibson on March 29.

Five days later, the school board approved a Voluntary Resignation Agreement with district Superintendent Robert Haley, with his last day April 30. Less than 48 hours later, attorney and businesswoman Lucile Lynch, 59, was hired to serve as interim schools chief.

The board interviewed seven candidates April 22, and board president Mo Muir was quoted as saying: “This is the toughest decision we’ve ever had. We were so lucky we had so many people who were so qualified.”

He was backed by the Parent Association, a North County-based group that advocated for early in-person reopening of schools.

Allison Stratton told Times of San Diego that she was part of a Parent Association panel that interviewed some of the candidates in order to inform its membership.

“We were very favorably impressed with all candidates who met with us and were especially delighted with Mr. Humes’ appointment,” she said. “How terrible that the SDFA’s shameless stunt will waste $500-$650k out of the general fund and will temporarily deprive the district of a fine leader. I am confident he will win the election but what a waste of time, energy and money.”

Ty Humes’ website urged district members not to sign the petition.

“Ty Humes is a well-respected member of the community and the right person for the job,” it said. “Email the San Diego County Registrar of Voters … Explain that you would like to have your signature removed from the petition for a special election for SDUHSD Trustee Area 5.”

Area 5 is portions of Carmel Valley, which includes Canyon Crest Academy high school and Pacific Trails Middle School. The district also takes in Encinitas, portions of southeastern Carlsbad and west San Marcos, Solana Beach, Del Mar, Rancho Santa Fe and Carmel Valley.

Meanwhile, the San Dieguito Faculty Association, a teachers union, is seeking to recall Area 4 Trustee Michael Allman, who was served notice of the effort in May.

Union President Duncan Brown said May 20 that over 700 signatures in the Humes matter were collected in a joint effort between the union and district parents.

Humes’ provisional appointment as a trustee was thus terminated. The county has 130 days to schedule an election, with costs reportedly estimated to be as much as $650,000.

In 2013, Humes was profiled in the Del Mar Times. He cited his philosophy by quoting Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: “Heights by great men reached and kept were not obtained by sudden flight but, while their companions slept, they were toiling upward in the night.”

Updated at 11:17 p.m. June 10, 2021