BARSTOW Jeff Malan took the reins as interim superintendent of the Barstow Unified School District Tuesday.

During Tuesday's school board meeting, the board unanimously voted to appoint Malan to serve in the position until June 30, 2012, when they will likely name a permanent superintendent.

Malan will continue to serve in his role as assistant superintendent of personnel services while he fulfills the duties of superintendent.

After the board meeting Malan shared he will be busy taking over both tasks, but added, "We have a good staff and with their support ... I can accept those responsibilities."

Malan has worked in the district for 21 years, beginning as a language arts teacher at Barstow Middle School. After teaching for eight years, Malan transitioned to administrative work, serving as assistant principal of the middle school and later principal before he moved up to the district.

He said he misses teaching but added, "There are teaching components to any position in education."

Malan said his main goal while serving as interim superintendent is to continue working with the school board on the goals and visions already set in place.

"My style of leadership is to lead by example," Malan said. "My strong point is to set a good example that disseminates and sets a tone for the district."

Outgoing Superintendent Susan Levine believes Malan will do a good job as interim superintendent, she said in an interview after her resignation.

She said she appointed Malan as her successor after she moved to superintendent from her former role as assistant superintendent of personnel services.

"I know Jeff is going to do a good job," Levine said. "He's knowledgeable. He'll do good things for the kids."

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