ENCINITAS — The San Dieguito Union High School District will soon be without a designated superintendent once again.
Interim Superintendent Tina Douglas, who was appointed to the position in April following the dismissal of Cheryl James-Ward, notified the district board of trustees on Friday that she would be resigning as interim superintendent and returning to her former position as associate superintendent of business services effective next month.
The decision comes a day after the board failed to approve a motion to appoint John Addelman to take over Douglas’ business services role on an interim basis to help alleviate her double workload and fill holes in the district’s executive cabinet.
While the district has been using a consultant to help with the business services role, Douglas said it hasn’t been enough. Other members of the district’s executive leadership are similarly overwhelmed, she added.
“I can’t do both jobs. In essence, that’s why the request is here,” Douglas told the board at its Thursday meeting. “Without this, I honestly don’t know what I would do, because I just can’t.”
Trustee Katrina Young was the sole “no” vote out of the three present trustees — Julie Bronstein was absent — with trustees Michael Allman and Maureen “Mo” Muir voting in favor. Since only three trustees were present, action items required unanimous approval in order to pass.
Young said she preferred to delay the approval until the board’s December meeting, when the newly-elected members would be in place, and to make leadership adjustments for other overwhelmed departments in the district at the same time.
Young referenced the recent departure of Deputy Superintendent Mark Miller, who accepted a job in the Fullerton Joint Union High School District, and gaps in the Human Resources department.
“I think when I look at those contracts, there are also others that are shouldering extra burdens,” Young said. “Looking at district leadership through an equity lens, I want to have a discussion about how to shore up all of the departments, and not just one.”
Allman shared his disappointment about the motion’s failure and Douglas’ decision.
“I am very disappointed that Interim Superintendent Douglas was not supported in her completely reasonable and fair request to backfill her prior position so she could focus on her superintendent duties,” Allman said in a statement to The Coast News. “It is not fair to ask Ms. Douglas to do two jobs at the same time. I still do not understand Trustee Young’s explanation of her veto.”
Douglas stated in her Friday letter that she is willing to remain in her interim superintendent position through the next board meeting on Dec. 13, if needed.
At the upcoming meeting, the new board, consisting of newcomers Rimga Viskanta, Jane Lea Smith and Phan Anderson, along with Allman and Young, will discuss initiating a search for a permanent superintendent.
The embattled district has had four superintendents, including Douglas, since the start of 2021.