UNION CITY -- New Haven Unified School District has begun the process of finding a new superintendent, board president Linda Canlas said.

"I'd like to assure the New Haven community -- particularly our students, our parents and our employees -- that we will establish and implement a thorough process and move quickly but carefully to find the right person for the very important job of leading our district," she said.

Canlas made the announcement Thursday, a day after Superintendent Kari McVeigh announced she will take an early retirement and leave the district in November. McVeigh said her differences with the school board over recent management choices fueled her decision to step down.

Canlas said she expects that the board's search will include input from the community and district employees. In 2008, current school board members Sarabjit Cheema, Michelle Matthews and Michael Ritchie served on the district's Superintendent Search Advisory Council, which interviewed and candidates and recommended finalists for the position.

Later that year, the district hired McVeigh. Now, the school board has six months to replace her.

"In the meantime, our teachers will continue to teach, our classified employees and administrators will continue to support that work and, most important, our children will continue to learn," Canlas said.

The board's next meeting is scheduled at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 18, at the Educational Services Center, at 34200 Alvarado-Niles Road.

Contact Chris De Benedetti at 510-353-7011. Follow him at Twitter.com/cdebenedetti.