6 more superintendents depart in start of school year shakeups

Parental pressure appears to have played a major role in the sudden departure of the superintendent of North Monterey County USD in California.

Parental pressure appears to have played a major role in the sudden departure of the superintendent of North Monterey County USD in California as K12 leadership shakeups continued in the new year.

Kari Yeater

Kari Yeater, who had led the district for 12 years and recently received a positive performance review, resigned as a group of parents were gathering signatures on a Change.org petition calling for her termination, the Monterey County Weekly reported.

The petition claims poor academic performance, chronic absenteeism, low staff morale and deteriorating buildings at North Monterey County USD.

A superintendent’s sudden departure in Pennsylvania coincided with the discovery that a group of paraprofessionals were overpaid by about $124,000 after they submitted falsified timecards. Superintendent Brenda G. Wynder announced last week that she will leave the Southeast Delco School District in January. Late last year, parents and others who opposed the renewal of Wynder’s contract had complained about rising violence and staff shortages in the Philadelphia-area system, FOX29.com reported.

The move came just as the district had completed its investigation into the paraprofessionals, who were supplied by outside employment agencies. District officials say they anticipate being reimbursed for the overcharges. Also in Pennsylvania, Rob McGee retired as superintendent of the Neshaminy School District after having been placed on administrative leave in March, according to PhillyBurbs.com.

Michael Morris
Michael Morris

Several months of controversy in the Amherst-Pelham School District in Massachusetts have resulted in the resignation of its superintendent, Michael Morris. Though the district had faced allegations that middle school counselors had discriminated against LGBTQ students, the school board said Morris’s departure was “not due to any wrongdoing,” WBUR reported. Earlier this year, Morris went on medical leave after losing a no-confidence vote by the teachers union.

James Wilson has left the East Gibson School District in Indiana after having been placed on administrative leave and restricted from school property due to “job performance-related issues,” a district attorney told WEHT. Shortly after being suspended, Wilson was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, according to WEVV.

And in Michigan, Jon Dean has resigned as superintendent of the Grosse Pointe Public School System and will remain with the district as a consultant until the end of the 2023-24 school year. A district announcement credited Dean with “fostering academic excellence, promoting student well-being, and cultivating a collaborative and inclusive environment.”

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But local news reports said Dean’s move came after several months of conflict between Grosse Pointe administrators and the school board. Clashes had erupted over district spending and other issues at school board meetings that have lasted as long as nine hours and been the target of picketing teachers, The Detroit News reported.

More shifts and departures

Superintendent Chad Mason will leave Cedar Cliff Local Schools in Ohio at the end of the year to take a position at the regional Greene County Educational Service Center. Mason had been with Cedar Cliff for 11 years, the Dayton Daily News reported. In the week’s retirement news, Superintendent Cindy Bear will leave Colorado’s Park County School District Re-2 at the end of the school year and Richard W. Hilderley will step down from Tecumseh Public Schools in Michigan after 2023-24.

Notable new hires

Sharon DiGirolamo
Sharon DiGirolamo

Longtime educator Sharon DiGirolamo has been named the next superintendent of the Seaford School District in Delaware. DiGirolamo has been Seaford’s assistant superintendent since 2020 and its director of special education since 2015. In Minnesota, Bill Adams has been chosen to lead Willmar Public Schools after having previously served as superintendent of New London-Spicer School District, according to the West Central Tribune. 

In another shift, Superintendent Jason Bottiglieri is leaving the Wyalusing Area School District to take the helm of the Northeastern School District, both of which are in Pennsylvania.

More new hires

Matt Zalaznick
Matt Zalaznick
Matt Zalaznick is the managing editor of District Administration and 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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