Walnut school board fires recently rehired superintendent, justifies thousands lost by saying split was ‘amicable’ (wait…what?)

In today’s paper, reporter Maritza Velazquez has a story about how the Walnut Valley Unified Board of Education’s decision to fire its recently rehired superintendent is going to cost the district hundreds of thousands of dollars.

From the story:

“The district in February renewed the contract for former Superintendent Cyndy Simms and will pay her $295,500 over the next 18 months. Then the board ousted her Aug. 11.”

In addition, “The board recently approved a $14,842-a-month contract agreement to employ interim Superintendent Charles McCully, who will serve in a temporary position for three to five months. They will also pay him $1,000 a month for automobile and housing expenses.”

In a time when schools are hard pressed for funds, districts are laying off teachers and staff, and the future is uncertain, the board must have good reason to make such a fiscally detrimental decision. Unfortunately, they haven’t been willing to give one.

Instead, following the unanimous vote, the board said the split was “amicable” and amounted to nothing more than a difference in leadership and management style that apparently was worth spending about $16,000 a month for her to be gone. This when the district is facing a $3.3 million budget deficit.

I have never been fired from a job before, but I hope if I ever do, it can work out as well as this one. $16,000 a month to fire her? I have friends who have stayed with girlfriends they didn’t like just because they needed a ride to work and didn’t want to pay for the bus.

The board has to wonder, will this be easy for taxpayers, and voters, to swallow?

(NOTE: I am not saying their decision to fire her was wrong or right. What do I know? Exactly. Nothing, which, conveniently, is my point. When you fire someone after rehiring them and decide to pay them bags of money a month – granted it will probably be in check form, like one of those giant checks they give for winning a golf tournament – you should have a really good reason. A REALLY good reason. Not a, well, she butted heads with the Spanish teacher and you have a difference of opinion on positive reinforcement versus constructive criticism. I mean, you rehired her, shouldn’t you already know her management style? Your reason better be that she was somehow detrimental to the education of the school children or seriously hampered the work environment, otherwise what reason is there?)

Email: daniel.tedford@sgvn.com | Twitter: @dgtedford @sgvtribune | Facebook: SGVTribune