Rowland Unified superintendent resigns

Rowland Unified School District Superintendent Ruben Frutos resigned his position Tuesday night, hours after the board fired Ajay Mohindra, the interim assistant superintendent of business who was hired by Frutos.

Frutos will end a 20-month term in the top spot on June 30, according to district board members. Mohindra also will leave at that time.

His tenure as interim superintendent and then as superintendent was marked with tension that included hundreds of people regularly attending board meetings and picketing of district headquarters by teachers and classified workers demanding his resignation.

In March, the board initiated a search for a new superintendent. But in attempt to keep him on, the board amended his contract to allow him to become deputy superintendent of administrative services. However, last month, the board pulled an item that would’ve approved the down-ladder move.

Some say the resignation was a way for Frutos to bow out gracefully after new board members Lynne Ebenkamp and Angelena Pride pushed for him to leave. Both were elected in November with teacher support on a platform to consider a new superintendent and increase board transparency.

“We finally have closure on the whole issue of Ruben. Now we also have the challenge of finding the right person to lead the district,” said John Petersen, president of the Association of Rowland Educators.

Frutos, in a summarized statement released by Gina Ward, district spokesperson, said he assured the board he was not interested in applying for the superintendent position but did say he hoped to serve RUSD in another capacity. He declined to be interviewed Wednesday.

Read more in Steve Scauzillo’s story FRUTOS.