The short-term leadership transition in the Santa Monica-Malibu school district is almost officially complete.

The local Board of Education on Wednesday night is expected to approve a contract with Sylvia Rousseau, a former Santa Monica High School principal who was recently named interim co-superintendent.

Rousseau and co-chief Chris King will guide the district through the end of the calendar year as SMMUSD searches for a long-term replacement for Sandra Lyon, who left June 30 to become the top administrator of the Palm Springs Unified School District.

The board’s action on Rousseau’s contract comes about a month and a half after a June 4 special meeting during which board members discussed the superintendent search process with consultants from Leadership Associates.

The board interviewed interim superintendent candidates June 16 and discussed options in closed session June 22. The board selected King and Rousseau as co-leaders June 29 and approved King’s contract that night. The two administrators will serve concurrently, but they won’t necessarily be on the job or at meetings at the same time.

Both are expected to attend tonight’s board meeting, which is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at SMMUSD headquarters, 1651 16th St., in Santa Monica.

King will earn $1,071 per day, a figure based on an annual salary of $240,000. That’s slightly above the $239,200 that Lyon was making when she left her post as the district’s superintendent, a position she held for five years.

King will have a housing allowance of $2,000 per month and an additional $900 per month for personal transportation and cellphone service, but he will not receive health insurance from SMMUSD. The details of Rousseau’s contract were not immediately available for review.

The administrative shakeup comes as the district faces several pivotal issues, including a protracted legal battle over chemical cleanup in Malibu, the possible creation of a separate Malibu district and attempts to close longstanding academic achievement gaps.

Rousseau, who was principal at Samohi from 1993 to 2000, has worked for decades in education and is well-versed on issues surrounding equity and diversity. The district is hoping to power forward on its work with education reformist Pedro Noguera to close achievement gaps even as it adjusts to temporary changes in upper management.

Board president Laurie Lieberman said in a press release that Rousseau “brings a wealth of academic and school district leadership experience as we move forward with the equity plan started under the leadership of Sandra Lyon.”

Rousseau studied English in college before earning a master’s in education from Cal State Los Angeles and a doctorate in education administration from Pepperdine.

Rousseau, who started her career in education as an English teacher, worked her way into administration and rose to assistant superintendent in L.A. Unified. She has been a professor at UCLA and Loyola Marymount University and taught in the USC Rossier School of Education for about 10 years.

Over the course of her career, Rousseau has been honored by the Santa Monica YWCA, the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce and several other organizations in the region.

jeff@www.smdp.com