NEWARK — Dave Marken, a Dublin school district official for the past 13 years, said he has been offered the position of Newark schools' superintendent.

The move will not become official until a special meeting scheduled Tuesday night, when school board members will consider approving the new superintendent's contract, according to the meeting agenda the district made public Monday afternoon.

"I haven't signed the contract yet," Marken said. "Nothing is solidified, not at least until the meeting."

However, Marken -- assistant superintendent of human resources for Dublin schools — said he anticipates starting work in Newark, perhaps as soon as next week, after his Dublin contract expires Thursday.

"I'll try to wrap up as soon as possible," he said. "It's been a whirlwind for me."

Marken is replacing Kevin Harrigan, who resigned two months ago to take a superintendent's job in Sonoma County.

Harrigan's contract expires Thursday, but his last day at work was June 16.

Marken said his first order of business in Newark will be to get a handle on the finances for the district of about 6,500 students.

"First and foremost, we've got to stop our reliance on the fractured funding system of the state of California," he said. "We have to take matters into our own hands. We need to rally our community around our educational system."


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Community feedback during the superintendent search made it clear to the board that residents want someone who will be a visible presence at school functions -- from football games to art events to school plays.

Marken, who lives in San Francisco with his wife, said he plans to rent a home in Newark.

"Visibility at school events is something I enjoy," he said. "I don't shy away from the community. I plan to do that."

Once Marken starts as superintendent, he will have company at the district office. Janis Duran, the current interim superintendent of Hayward schools, will work for a few months — at least part-time — to help the new superintendent transition into his new position.

"I certainly welcome Janis," he said. "We've only talked a few times on the phone, but I welcome her expertise and her help as we make key administrative hires and get ready for the 2011-12 school year."

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