The Shafter Press - Serving the community since 1922

By Jamie Stewart
The Shafter Press 

Jr. High principal is interim superintendent

Garcia resigns a year early 'to move on'


Jamie Stewart | The Shafter Press

Rosa Romero, principal of Richland Junior High, has been named interim superintendent.

The resignation of Superintendent of Richland School District's Dago Garcia will take effect on June 30, and Richland Junior High Principal Rosa Romero has been named interim superintendent, according to Deanna Rodriguez-Root, president of the district's Board of Trustees.

Garcia emailed his resignation on Wednesday, June 12, stating that he would no longer be superintendent as of June 30, 2019. Rodriguez-Root said at the time that "Dr. Garcia has decided to move on and will no longer be superintendent."

A letter is on the district's website announcing the resignation and announcing the beginning of a search for a permanent replacement. There was no specific reason given for the move, and there has been no comment on the decision from the district.

Assistant Superintendent Rocio Munoz was bypassed in favor of Romero for the interim job; no reason was given for the selection.

Garcia had another year remaining on his contract with the district, which runs through June 2020. His compensation included about $160,000 in pay and benefits.

Garcia did not attend graduation ceremonies from Richland Junior High. It appears that he has not been at work since just prior to the email's was release. Attempts to reach him for comment have been unsuccessful.

Romero has over 30 years of experience in the education field, with 25 years being spent in administration. Some of her experiences include being a bilingual teacher, summer school coordinator, migrant resource teacher, assistant principal and principal at Redwood, as well as Richland Junior High.

Jamie Stewart | The Shafter Press

Superintendent Dago Garcia resigned, effective June 30.

Board of Trustees member Caine Maldonado said that the move was not a total surprise, but stated that the most important thing to remember is the children. "We have great teachers who care about our kids. We are going to move forward continuing to make Richland a great school district."

Former trustee Mike Svlitch said that the district has some problems, and he didn't think that the departure of Garcia will do anything to fix them.

Sweeping changes were made last year when all of the principals were either reassigned to different posts or kept on as teachers back in the classroom. These changes were controversial, with protests coming from community members and staff.

Gloria Ruetas, who has a granddaughter who attended Richland schools, said, "I always loved the teachers at Richland. They really care about the kids and would do anything for them. It was the administration that was frustrating. But this was going on way before Garcia was ever in office. This has been a problem for a long time."


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