Investigations force 2 more superintendents out as leadership posts are filled

'I don’t know why. I’ve been given no reason at all,' an Indiana superintendent told local media about the school board's move to oust him.

Superintendents in Idaho and Indiana are leaving their posts during district investigations into matters that have not been disclosed to either the public or, in one case, to the superintendent himself.

Clete Edmunson has resigned after about six years as superintendent of Council School District 13 in Idaho “amid pending litigation and a school board investigation,” Idaho Education News reports. Edmunson was a member of the Idaho state legislature from 2003-2008, and came to Council, his alma mater, after serving as a high school principal in a nearby district. He left that post during another investigation that ended as part of his separation agreement, Idaho Education News noted.

Richard Rutherford
Richard Rutherford

In Indiana’s Salem Community Schools, Superintendent Richard Rutherford told a local media outlet that he does not know why the district’s school board is now moving to end his employment, with his last day likely falling in August. The board voted 6-0 to terminate Rutherford, who has been on paid leave since May, WDRB News reported. “I don’t know why,” Rutherford told WDRB. “I’ve been given no reason at all.”

Rutherford was previously superintendent of the South Spencer School Corporation, which declined to renew his contract in 2021 after he’d led that Indiana district since 2016.

Administrative change across K12

Kim Moore (LinkedIn)
Kim Moore (LinkedIn)

Several districts within just the last week have installed new leaders, including Kim Moore, the newly appointed superintendent of Richland School District Two in South Carolina. Moore, who will be Richland Two’s sixth superintendent since 1985, is currently the assistant superintendent of career and innovative programs in Florida’s Pasco County School District. Moore is an Army veteran who was also overseeing Pasco County schools’ diversity, equality and inclusion initiative.

In West Virginia, Christy Miller has been installed as superintendent of Upshur County Schools, which was taken over by the state in June. Miller had been serving as superintendent of Taylor County Schools, also in West Virginia, and previously held administrative posts in the state’s Department of Education. A past Upshur County Schools administration is being investigated for its use of federal COVID relief funds.

More from DA: How ongoing turnover at the top is impacting superintendent salaries and bonuses

Superintendents changing places include California’s Mike Swize, who is moving from Palm Springs USD to the Perris Elementary School District. Swize has been a teacher, bilingual programs coordinator, elementary and middle school principal, and assistant superintendent at Palm Springs USD. In Washington, Superintendent Tabitha Mires is leaving the Waterville School District to take the helm at the Mansion School District.

Irma Duplechain Trosclair
Irma Duplechain Trosclair (Photo: Lafayette Parish School System)

Notable departures include Superintendent Shaun A. O’Connor, who will retire in January 2024 after having led New York’s Weedsport Central School District for the past 18 years. Superintendent Doug Bennett of the Laurel County School District in Kentucky is retiring in July after having been at the helm for 11 years, The Sentinel Echo reported.

And Superintendent Irma Duplechain Trosclair, who became the first female leader of Louisiana’s Lafayette Parish School System in 2020, is stepping down and will serve as principal of Eunice High School and a zone leader for the neighboring St. Landry Parish School Board.

More new superintendent hires: 

Other superintendent departures:

  • Superintendent Adela Jones is retiring from Sanger USD (California).
  • Superintendent Scott Korpak will step down from Northview Public Schools (Michigan) at the end of July.
  • Superintendent Bruce Martin will retire from Saginaw Township Community School District (Michigan) at the end of 2023.
  • Superintendent Dedrick Martin is leaving Caledonia Community Schools (Michigan) to become director of the Kalamazoo Regional Educational Service Agency, reports.
  • Superintendent Thomas Price will retire from Boerne ISD (Texas) at the end of the 2023-24 school year.
  • Fred Van Vleck will resign from Eureka City Schools (California) in January 2024.
  • Superintendent Ken Williams is retiring from the Belle Vernon Area School District (Pennsylvania).
Matt Zalaznick
Matt Zalaznick
Matt Zalaznick is a life-long journalist. Prior to writing for District Administration he worked in daily news all over the country, from the NYC suburbs to the Rocky Mountains, Silicon Valley and the U.S. Virgin Islands. He's also in a band.

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