Rowland school board to “discuss” superintendent’s contract

By Staff Writer Steve Scauzillo

The fate of the Rowland Unified superintendent — including the next phase of his contract —is one of the major issues before the school board Tuesday night.

Board members of the Rowland Unified School District are scheduled to vote on an amendment to Superintendent Ruben Frutos’ contract. The district is tight-lipped about whether that means retaining Frutos for a longer period of time. His contract runs out June 30.

For almost a year, teachers, parents and community members have staged protests, wrote letters and emails and pleaded in person before the five-member board to open the superintendent’s position to other applicants by conducting an extensive search.

The Association of Rowland Educators officially asked for an open search on Feb. 4, saying the 700-member teachers union has no confidence in Frutos. He has not served as a teacher or principal and has not proven himself a worthy leader, according to ARE President John Petersen.

The request for a superintendent search, however, is only a discussion item and not scheduled for board action.

“A member of the community brought this forward and under our board policy, we are respectfully putting it on the agenda,” Board president Heidi Gallegos said Monday. “We will have a discussion.”

Gallegos declined to elaborate on the amendment of the superintendent’s contract, only to say it will first be discussed in closed session.

RUSD operates 19 schools in Rowland Heights, Walnut, La Puente, Industry and West Covina — with 15,000 students. Board meetings are held at district headquarters, 1830 S. Nogales St., at 5:30 p.m. for the closed session and 7 p.m. for the regular session.