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See all posts about Jesus Gandara.
Update: Gandara fires Dianna Carberry. (Carberry is the infamous principal who fired Coach James "Ted" Carter.)
SUHSD superintendent Jesus Gandara is being accused of using intimidation to control employees. It wouldn't surprise me if it were true, since I am familiar with the intimidation used by Chula Vista Elementary School's superintendents Lowell Billings (see the Ana Stover case) and Libia Gil (see the Maura Larkins case). But the SUHSD employees are asking for help from the wrong people. The school board is probably in full support of Mr. Gandara. In fact, it's newest member, Bertha Lopez, gave approval to CVESD's worst tactics. With all those signatures, surely these employees could have some sway at election time. What they need is new board members, and then they can solve a host of problems.
Displeased employees want superintendent fired
1,300 sign petition to oust Gandara
By Chris Moran Union-Tribune Staff Writer
May 23, 2009
CHULA VISTA — More than 1,300 employees in the Sweetwater Union High School District have signed a petition calling for the superintendent to be fired.
The signatures are the most concrete expression of discontent with Superintendent Jesus Gandara that has persisted throughout the spring as the district struggles with budget cuts and personnel reassignments.
There are about 6,000 employees in the district.
In March, the district put 109 educators on notice that they faced the loss of their jobs due to budget cuts. The district later rescinded all the notices. In negotiations with the teachers union, the district proposed a 2 percent pay cut for teachers. That, too, was retracted once the district was informed that it would soon receive $12.4 million in federal stimulus money.
Gandara also demoted several longtime and popular administrators as part of a larger plan to reorganize the leadership of the 42,000-student district. Karen Janney, the second-highest ranking academic administrator in the district and a former state principal of the year, refused to accept her new assignment and has left the district.
The petition calls for Sweetwater's five-member board of trustees “to immediately begin the process of seeking a new superintendent.”
The petition accuses Gandara of using intimidation to gain consent. Employees from all over the district signed even amid what some employees privately call a climate of fear. They say employees believe they'll suffer retaliation if they disagree with Gandara.
When the petition started circulating, board President Jim Cartmill issued a statement that called the petition “nothing more than a political tactic being used during difficult contract negotiations.”
Union leaders who organized the petition drive turned in the signatures at a board meeting this month.