CCUSD releases Superintendent Tacy Ashby from contract

By Linda Bentley | July 9, 2008

Debbie Burdick named interim superintendent
CCUSD – Two items were apparently added to the agenda late Monday that did not appear in packets or online until late Tuesday afternoon.

tacy ashbyBoard Clerk Lisa Doche could not garner enough votes to support her move to discuss the first item in executive session.

Board President Stephanie Reese read a letter from Superintendent Tacy Ashby, requesting to be “released from her contract,” effective July 31, citing “personal reasons.”

“Dr. Ashby is not present,” said Reese, who added, “Dr. Ashby asked to be released and that we move forward with this agenda item.”

Board Clerk Lisa Doche said she spoke to Ashby, who said she was amenable to discussing it in executive session.

Reese said, “I spoke to her right before the meeting and she wanted to move forward.”

Member Susan Clancy moved for a vote.

Member Casey Perkins, who was participating telephonically and had just arrived in person, asked what the implications were if they did or didn’t release Ashby from her contract.

Human Resources Director Patti Tussey said there was no impact, adding, “This is not a buyout.”

During public comment, Sandy Krestan told the board, “I think you need to question yourselves and ask what’s going on.” Citing the survey results that accused the board of micromanaging, she blamed them for all the people leaving the district.

In tears, Krestan told the board they “lost one of the best principals they ever had” and she wasn’t just saying that because she was her sister.

The board voted 6-1 to release Ashby from her contract, with member Javier Ledesma, voting no and claiming when he spoke to Ashby, she indicated the “door was still open.”

debbie burdickThe second item added to the agenda was a recommendation made by Ashby to appoint Associate Superintendent of Teaching and Learning Debbi Burdick as interim superintendent and allow the newly elected board to choose a new superintendent.
The recommendation passed by a vote of 6-1 with Clancy dissenting.

During other actions, the board unanimously adopted the $34 million budget, the human resource items presented and the Developmental Preschool Calendar.

During her President’s Report, Reese said the district received a letter from the School Facilities Board stating it would not be authorizing or funding any new school projects for 2009, including the more than $12 million previously authorized to build a new high school.

Burdick introduced an “old face,” Nancy Shaver, as the new principal of Lone Mountain Elementary School; new hires Ellie Gaines, as principal of Black Mountain Elementary School and Ann Furnish, as director of accountability and assessment; and Donna Lewis, returning to the district as acting principal of Cactus Shadows High School as the district does its nationwide search.

Top photo: Tacy Ashby; Bottom photo: Debbie Burdick
Photos by Linda Bentley