On Thursday, Feb. 7, Tammy Loveland, Yosemite Unified School District’s Board President announced, YUSD Superintendent Cecelia Greenberg, was placed on paid administrative leave.
The announcement came a day after Fred Cogan, an administrator for Madera County Superintendent of School’s Office, moved into Greenberg’s office.
Cogan is on special assignment to assist and address ongoing district operations and needs. He arrives as the district speeds toward the deadline of fiscal solvency and the community remains desperate for financial solutions and announcements.
In regards to his new assignment Cogan said, “We (the county and Cogan) are here at the request of the Yosemite Unified School District’s Board of Trustees as part of the on-going partnership between YUSD and Madera County Superintendent of Schools. Our focus together is making sure we have the best programs available for all kids, sound working environments for everyone who works every day to support the kids, and honoring our mountain community.”
Since Cogan’s assignment, county, board, and YUSD officials have delicately addressed the unfolding situation. Due to legal issues it is normal for staff to decline comment on personnel issues.
In a prepared statement Loveland wrote,“Yosemite Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Cecelia Lynn Greenberg is on paid administrative leave from YUSD. All school business will continue and YUSD staff will be working together with Madera County Superintendent of Schools to assist with daily operations.”
Greenberg began serving as YUSD superintendent July 1, 2017. In June she acknowledged the pending financial issues she would be inheriting.
Greenberg said that aside from the issues of dwindling enrollment and increased pension payments, there were also challenges with the state and federal budget, rising minimum wage, and debt for constructed facilities. But, she said, she was ready to work with district staff to meet those issues in stride.
Greenberg’s leave arrived days before a plan of action and potential budget cuts would have been made public. Loveland addressed this in her statement.
“In light of these recent events, the anticipated action of district cuts will not be made at the Feb. 12 board meeting. We do anticipate additional Special Board Meetings in February to allow the board time to completely review all relevant information prior to any and all board action.”
Cogan and the board have their work cut out for them and they are moving full stream through the challenge. By March 15, they must inform all certified staff whether they will continue to be employed into the 2018/19 school year.
Tony Miser, a teacher at YUSD and one of the most outspoken staff members in regards to the on-going district issues, seems hopeful.
“Ethical people from the county and the board are moving forward to make hard decisions, and I have faith they will be able to do it now.”
According to the Hi-Desert Star in San Bernardino County, this is not the first leave of absence for Greenberg. Hired in June 2013 as superintendent of Morongo Unified School District, one year later, June 2014, the school board placed her on paid administrative leave.
The school district provided no information on their personnel action at the time. It occurred one month after teachers publicly protested a requested raise for Greenberg. Her annual salary at the time was $175,000.