Several superintendents step down after short stays in their district

The most high-profile departure was that of Eric Gallien, who was hired in May but reached a separation agreement with the Charleston County School District's board on Friday and resigned immediately.

A number of short-term superintendents have left their posts within the last week as the tidal wave of turnover that began late in the COVID pandemic continues to roil K12 leadership.

The most high-profile departure was that of Eric Gallien, who reached a separation agreement with the Charleston County School District’s board on Friday and resigned immediately. Gallien was hired by the South Carolina district in May when he was superintendent of Wisconsin’s Racine USD. The school board also announced that Gallien was exonerated by an external investigation of complaints he created a hostile work environment.

The shortest-term leader to leave in recent days is Hanover School District 28 Superintendent Paul Calvert, who is stepping down after just three months in the Colorado post, The Gazette reported. About a month ago, district employees complained at a school board meeting about the district’s handling of its taxes prior to Calvert’s hiring. He had been conducting a review, the newspaper noted.

Superintendent Bobbie Hayes Goodrum has announced that Dec. 31 will be her last day at Ferndale Schools in Michigan, after having served since June 2022, according to the Oakland County Times. In Colorado, another superintendent also hired in 2022 is parting ways with his district. Jesús Rodríguez has resigned from the Roaring Fork School District after having been on family medical leave since August, The Aspen Times reported.

In New York, Augustine Tornatore has resigned from the Riverhead Central School District after about two years on the job. He had been on leave from the Long Island district since the beginning of the month, according to multiple local reports that also noted recent controversies in Riverhead. Cheryl Pedisich, retired superintendent of Three Village Central School District, will serve as Riverhead’s interim superintendent until June 30.

And in New Jersey, Carol Kelley resigned suddenly on Friday after two years at the helm of Princeton Public Schools, citing “professional and personal reasons,” Planet Princeton reported. Kelley will be on paid administrative leave until Aug. 31, when her term with the district end officially, the website noted.

A longer-term superintendent, Keith Lewis has submitted his resignation from the Douglas County School District in Nevada. Lewis had been clashing with the school board over various issues in recent months, The Nevada Independent reported. Lewis was hired in 2020, at the beginning of the COVID pandemic.

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Superintendent Shaun Streyle is leaving Alaska’s Delta/Greely School District after five years at the helm, according to the Delta Wind. Finally, in Montana, Debra Fountain appears to have resigned suddenly from the West Yellowstone School District, where she also served as K5 principal, KNZK reported.

Other shifts in the superintendency

The Monroe City School Board in Louisana has placed Superintendent Brent Vidrine on paid administrative leave after a preliminary investigation “raised serious concerns” about his actions, KNOE reported. “The investigators have informed the school board that their investigation is not complete, and they stressed that they had made no final conclusions concerning the facts,” the school board said in a statement. “The placement of Superintendent Vidrine on administrative leave is nothing more than the school board’s attempt to provide his investigators with the widest latitude possible to complete their investigation and report their findings without any possible suggestion that Superintendent Vidrine in any way hampered or influenced the investigation”

On the retirement front, Superintendent Charlotte Macaluso says she will wrap up her tenure at Colorado’s Pueblo School District 60 on July 1, after having served as its leader since 2016 and worked in the district for more than 30 years, the Pueblo Chieftain reported.

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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