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GESD board meets Feb. 9 to discuss Johnson resignation

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Posted: Thursday, February 4, 2010 12:00 am

When the Glendale Elementary School District Governing Board meets Feb. 9, Superintendent Sandra Johnson's resignation and non-renewal of her contract will be on the agenda. Johnson tendered her resignation, effective June 30, orally and in written form Jan. 26 after the governing board voted 3-2 not to renew her contract.

Johnson received support from several people during the public comments portion of the Jan. 26 governing board meeting. From a maintenance worker to a school principal, parent and teacher, they voiced their admiration for the way she has produced higher expectations and performances from students in the district and offered parent/student outreach.

In the past week, The Glendale Star has received a copy of an e-mail sent in August 2009 to Governing Board President Martin Samaniego from Governing Board Member Mary Ann Wilson. The e-mail was a request for certain items to be placed on the next meeting agenda. The No. 1 item Wilson requested to be on the agenda was a superintendent search. This was two months before the evaluation discussion of Johnson's performance began and before a new contract was offered to her.

When asked about the e-mail, Samaniego said, “I don't have any recollection of that. I just don't recall that.”

He also said “we still even haven't to date” discussed a superintendent search.

When asked when the board planned on discussing a superintendent search, Samaniego said that agendas are usually prepared a month in advance, and the board had not even discussed Johnson's resignation yet.

“At this point in time, there hasn't been a discussion,” he said.

In talks with various people during breaks in board meetings, one name keeps coming up: Kino Flores, former superintendent of Tolleson Union High School District.

Samaniego was asked if he had discussed the GESD superintendent position with Flores, and he said, “Not at all.”

Again, he said, “It's not an item for discussion at this time.”

He also talked about the adversarial relationship among certain board members and between the superintendent and board members. He noted that The Glendale Star reporter had been to the meetings and observed discussions herself.

“Everything we discuss is in open meetings,” Samaniego said. “So it's no secret. Everybody has the same information as I do.”

Samaniego's board seat, as well as Governing Board Member Sara Smith's seat, is up for election this fall.

Samaniego said he was “not sure” if he would seek re-election.

“I haven't made a decision yet,” he said, adding the question, “Are you going to endorse me?”

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