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PVUSD board rescinds dismissal of superintendent in special meeting

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WATSONVILLE, Calif. (KION) UPDATE 02/04/21 1:40 a.m. The Pajaro Valley Unified School District Board has unanimously voted to rescind the dismissal of Superintendent Michelle Rodriguez in a special meeting Sunday night.

Each of the board members who voted initially to fire Dr. Rodriguez took back their votes, which had the effect of reinstating the superintendent to her position.

Some of the board members claimed they received threats from the public after they voted to fire Rodriguez.

The board also made changes to the leadership team at the meeting. Trustee Jennifer Holm was made the board president, replacing Georgia Acosta. Also, Jennifer Schacher will now serve as Vice President, replacing Oscar Soto.

UPDATE 1/31/21 7:30 p.m. Dr. Michelle Rodriguez is expected to be reinstated as the superintendent of the Pajaro Valley Unified School District very soon tonight.

Although enough board members said they will rescind their initial vote to fire Dr. Rodriguez, a formal vote to reinstate her must still take place.

The move came as part of a special board meeting this afternoon.

The board members who voted initially to remove Dr. Rodriguez have announced they will rescind their vote for her removal. This includes PVUSD Board president, Georgia Acosta.

KION's Josh Kristianto will have a report with more details tonight on KION News at 10 and 11 p.m.

UPDATE 01/30/21 9:30 p.m. The Pajaro Valley Unified School District board will consider reinstating fired superintendent Dr. Michelle Rodriguez in a special meeting on Sunday.

In the agenda item titled "Rescind Prior Action of this Board Regarding Dismissal of Superintendent Michelle Rodriguez," which is scheduled for a closed session, the topic reads: "The Board will meet to rescind the prior action of the Board regarding dismissal of Superintendent Michelle Rodriguez."

Monterey County Supervisor Luis Alejo, who has been vocal about this issue since it began, tells KION he believes the board will likely reinstate Dr. Rodriguez to her position on Sunday. The board will also choose an attorney to advise the trustees and determine board officers.

PREVIOUS ARTICLE: The Pajaro Valley Unified School District fired Superintendent Dr. Michelle Rodriguez Wednesday during a closed Board of Trustees meeting.

Four trustees voted in favor of termination and three opposed it. Maria Orozco, Jennifer Holm and Kim De Serpa opposed firing the Superintendent while Georgia Acosta, Oscar Soto, Jennnifer Schacher and Daniel Dodge Jr. were in favor.

Dr. Michelle Rodriguez, the former superintendent said board president Georgia Acosta did not allow her to join the board meeting. A lawyer went to her office and gave her a paper stating her contract was being finished earlier than expected. She said she had no idea why she was being fired.

She said she had no major disagreements and has always been committed to keeping the students at the center of what she does.

“I have a saying that passionate for students, compassionate for adults,” said Rodriguez. I would say that were in this position to support our students and our families. That will always be my focus, what’s best for the students.”

Megan Jacobs-Meyer is a librarian technician at Mar Vista High School. She is also a parent two children who belong to the district. She began a petition that is now circulating demanding for Rodgriquez’s to be placed back as superintendent. The petition also demands to dismiss the four board members who voted against her. And the petition has already collected more than a thousand signatures.

“She’s been very transparent with us,” said Jacobs-Meyer. “So this feels really shocking. I felt betrayed by these four trustees that voter to fire her without any communication to anyone else.”

A former trustee, Leslie De Rose was part of the board when Dr. Rodriguez was first hire. She has two children who graduated from the district. And currently has a grandchild who lives with her who also attends a school in the district. She was shocked and devastated when she heard about the dismissal.

“Having her leave us right now at this time, at any time, it would be a devastating blow,” said De Rose. “But especially right now. Her leadership has really seen us through the toughest times we’ve ever seen.”

Education / Santa Cruz County / Top Stories

Jonathan Sarabia

Jonathan is a multi-media journalist at KION News Channel 5/46.

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Josh Kristianto

Josh Kristianto is a weekend anchor and multi-media journalist at KION News Channel 5/46.

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