Superintendent Robert Haley resigns from San Dieguito school district
Superintendent Robert Haley is out at San Dieguito Union High School District after less than three years. At a special meeting held on April 27, SDUHSD Board President Mo Muir said they have accepted Haley’s voluntary resignation as of April 30.
Per the terms of the agreement, Haley will be paid 12 months of his salary, $270,746, and health and wellness benefits through April, 30 2022 or until he obtains benefit coverage elsewhere.
Another special meeting is scheduled for Thursday, April 29 at 4 p.m. as the board will likely determine next steps. Per a release from the district, the board plans to immediately begin a search for a new superintendent.
Haley was the district’s fourth superintendent in the last 10 years. He brought over 25 years of experience in education, serving as a teacher, principal and district level administrator in six school districts. Prior to coming to San Dieguito, he was the superintendent of the Cotati-Rohnert Park Unified School District in Sonoma County for seven years.
in 2018, Haley was selected to replace Eric Dill following a nationwide search conducted by Hazard Young Attea and Associates. In March 2020, the previous board gave Haley a 3.5% raise with Muir voting against it. New trustees Michael Allman and Katrina Young were sworn-in in December and after Kristin Gibson resigned in March, she was replaced with Ty Humes last week.
Throughout the challenging pandemic year, parents, teachers and board members were critical of Haley’s leadership and the district’s pathway to reopen schools.
In November 2020, San Diego Faculty Association President Duncan Brown said that members were asked to vote on whether the superintendent had the ability to lead the district—98% voted that they did not have confidence in his leadership. The vote of no confidence was passed onto the board in December.
A superintendent evaluation was on the closed session agenda at the board’s April 22 meeting, however, when the board reconvened to open session, Muir said no action was taken.
On April 28, Haley shared the following message to the San Dieguito community:
“It was an honor to be the superintendent of San Dieguito Union High School District. I enjoyed my time serving the students, families, staff, and community. I will always be a student-centered leader and decision-maker and I truly love the students of SDUHSD. The creation of our student summit, although in response to tragedy, allowed me to have great insight into our students’ thoughts, concerns, hopes, and questions. This guided my work and led to our district to have a statewide reputation for caring about the daily experiences of our students.
I thank the leadership team I had the privilege of working with on a daily basis. They are as strong as any team in the State of California. I thank the support staff who were always amazing and dedicated and were there every day we needed them when we entered the COVID-19 period of time. I thank the teachers and faculty who were also always dedicated to their profession, who pivoted in response to COVID-19 and were flexible to ensure all students received an education regardless of their circumstances of learning at home or at school. I thank our families who are so supportive of not just their own students, but our schools, foundations, parent-teacher organizations, athletic and extracurricular programs. All of this combined together makes for a truly supportive school community.
This past year has been one with many challenges impacting our community and our nation. For many families and students, I know this past year has been hard on them and, for many, learning at home was, and is, not ideal and has caused stress and harm. I worked as hard as I could to ensure those families were supported and their students could return to campus. It is my fervent hope that the district and the state continue on this path. At the same time, we must remember the students at home and ensure they are supported as well.
I enjoyed spending as much time as possible on school campuses interacting with students, teachers and staff to truly have an understanding of how district decisions impacted their daily lives. I will miss that time tremendously. Although it was my desire to finish my career at San Dieguito Union High School District, that is not to be. The district is a great one and can be a lighthouse for the state and nation. I hope the Board of Trustees is successful with any positive initiatives it has in the future. I truly hope the vision stays in place that all students are entitled to a successful education, we are a team, engaged, inspired, prepared, and that continues to guide the path forward.”
The board stated in a news release that it is seeking applicants to serve as interim superintendent during the time period of the search. Any interested candidates should submit a cover letter and resume to the board president by email. Additional details will be posted on the district’s website (sduhsd.net) under a superintendent search link.
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