2014-04-03 / Front Page

School board reverses course on superintendent pick

By Greg Knight | ASSOCIATE EDITOR

Saturday, April 5, 2014 - 4 p.m. - After initially offering the position of superintendent with the Mariposa County Unified School District (MCUSD) to Dr. Todd Cutler, the former deputy superintendent of the Rocklin Unified School District, the MCUSD Board of Trustees have rescinded that decision in a 5-0 vote during a special meeting on Saturday, April 5.

The decision not to hire Cutler came after a handful of public employees, and the Mariposa County Teachers Association (MCTA), raised questions about hiring Cutler as the new superintendent—with incoming association president Lynda Dougherty-Kelly openly challenging the school board about the selection.

Dougherty-Kelly’s comments came during the special meeting where an agenda item involved reviewing and discussing the transition plan for Cutler and Interim Superintendent John Stafford.

After researching Cutler’s professional background, Dougherty-Kelly said MCTA was concerned about the search process, Cutler’s management style, and allegations that a bullying grievance was filed against him by his former assistant at the Rocklin Unified School District (RUSD), where he served as Deputy Superintendent.

“Staff, who you chose not to include in the interview process, found out this information in a matter of  two minutes,” Dougherty-Kelly said. “Quite literally, only two minutes to pull this information up. And while the accusations and charges were never turned into prosecutions, the sheer fact that Mr. Cutler has left a trail of destruction in his wake, as he has moved from district to district, fills me with a sense of foreboding.”

Mariposa County High School teacher Alex Keeton asked the board to reconsider approving a contract with Cutler.

“If it’s possible, I would really like you to take time to revisit it and do what’s best for the district,” Keeton said.

Cutler's selection as the next superintendent was announced on Wednesday, April 2 by Stafford's office.

Read the entire story in the April 10, 2014 edition of the GAZETTE.

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We cannot count on our Board

We cannot count on our Board to make this pick. Our students have suffered under poor leadership decisions for the past 16 years. At one point I removed my child from the District. I returned him because the teachers and principals are incredibly dedicated, despite all odds. No other district has more dedicated teachers. They deserve a Super that will appreciate them. Certainly not a bully. Once again, our teachers saved the day. Lynda and Alex, you are community heroes. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I sent an e-mail to my Board Rep on April 3, who didn't reply as usual, asking for reassurance that Dr. Cutler hadn't been let go from the Rocklin District for undesirable reasons. It was clear from the Rocklin District Board minutes- easily available on Rocklinusd.org- that his departure was sudden. I then forwarded my e-mail to all the Board members on April 4, so they'd have it before the April 5 meeting. Not a single one replied. They don't care. It's as simple as that.

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