News

High school district paid superintendent over $250K to leave post

Sequoia Union's superintendent was ousted in September following complaints from teachers, principals

The Sequoia Union High School District agreed to pay more than $250,000 to Superintendent Mary Streshly in exchange for her resignation. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

The Sequoia Union High School District paid former Superintendent Mary Streshly $256,276 to leave her position, according to a resignation and separation agreement obtained by The Almanac.

Former Sequoia Union High School District Superintendent Mary Streshly, on Aug. 24, 2017. Photo by Ana Sofia Amieva-Wang.

Streshly, whose contract was set to expire on June 30, 2022, stepped down from her role in September following calls for her firing by teachers, top district officials and administrators. The agreement states that Streshly voluntarily resigned from her post.

"The parties desire to avoid the time and expense attendant upon potential administrative and civil litigation and to settle, once and forever, all disputes arising out of ... the superintendent's employment with the district and her resignation," the Sept. 18 agreement states.

It also stipulates that the board will only provide basic employment information (date of hire, salary, job duties, resignation date and positions held within the district) and information in a letter of recommendation written by former board president Allen Weiner outlining her accomplishments as superintendent.

Streshly will also receive health benefits through the district through August 2021.

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The agreement includes the press release announcing Streshly's resignation.

The Sequoia District Teachers Association (SDTA) announced a no-confidence vote against Streshly on Aug. 3 and asked for board members to replace her.

A group of district administrators that included high school principals sent a letter to the board calling for her ouster on July 31. Both teachers and administrators accused Streshly of mishandling the district's COVID-19 response and said complained of her history of ineffectual leadership. The letter included signatures from 22 principals and top administrators such as Bonnie Hansen, the assistant superintendent of instructional services.

In a statement, the Sequoia board of trustees said that Streshly left her job "in order to fulfill critical care responsibilities with her family."

Streshly became Sequoia Union High School District superintendent in July of 2017, signing on with a salary of $240,500 per year.

Former Assistant Superintendent Crystal Leach has served as the district's interim superintendent since Streshly departed.

The school board voted to hire search firm Leadership Associates during a Dec. 16, school board meeting to help find a new superintendent, said Laura Lauese, executive assistant to the superintendent and board of trustees, in a Friday, Dec. 18, email. Trustees have said they'd like to hire Streshly's replacement to start at the beginning of the 2021-22 school year.

The school board interviewed three consulting firms on Nov. 10 that could conduct the hiring process for a new superintendent to replace Streshly, including Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates (HYA), which helped the board hire Streshly three years ago. Trustees questioned if HYA would be good for the job given that Streshly’s tenure was a shorter time than the board "would have liked."

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High school district paid superintendent over $250K to leave post

Sequoia Union's superintendent was ousted in September following complaints from teachers, principals

by / Almanac

Uploaded: Fri, Dec 18, 2020, 5:10 pm

The Sequoia Union High School District paid former Superintendent Mary Streshly $256,276 to leave her position, according to a resignation and separation agreement obtained by The Almanac.

Streshly, whose contract was set to expire on June 30, 2022, stepped down from her role in September following calls for her firing by teachers, top district officials and administrators. The agreement states that Streshly voluntarily resigned from her post.

"The parties desire to avoid the time and expense attendant upon potential administrative and civil litigation and to settle, once and forever, all disputes arising out of ... the superintendent's employment with the district and her resignation," the Sept. 18 agreement states.

It also stipulates that the board will only provide basic employment information (date of hire, salary, job duties, resignation date and positions held within the district) and information in a letter of recommendation written by former board president Allen Weiner outlining her accomplishments as superintendent.

Streshly will also receive health benefits through the district through August 2021.

The agreement includes the press release announcing Streshly's resignation.

The Sequoia District Teachers Association (SDTA) announced a no-confidence vote against Streshly on Aug. 3 and asked for board members to replace her.

A group of district administrators that included high school principals sent a letter to the board calling for her ouster on July 31. Both teachers and administrators accused Streshly of mishandling the district's COVID-19 response and said complained of her history of ineffectual leadership. The letter included signatures from 22 principals and top administrators such as Bonnie Hansen, the assistant superintendent of instructional services.

In a statement, the Sequoia board of trustees said that Streshly left her job "in order to fulfill critical care responsibilities with her family."

Streshly became Sequoia Union High School District superintendent in July of 2017, signing on with a salary of $240,500 per year.

Former Assistant Superintendent Crystal Leach has served as the district's interim superintendent since Streshly departed.

The school board voted to hire search firm Leadership Associates during a Dec. 16, school board meeting to help find a new superintendent, said Laura Lauese, executive assistant to the superintendent and board of trustees, in a Friday, Dec. 18, email. Trustees have said they'd like to hire Streshly's replacement to start at the beginning of the 2021-22 school year.

The school board interviewed three consulting firms on Nov. 10 that could conduct the hiring process for a new superintendent to replace Streshly, including Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates (HYA), which helped the board hire Streshly three years ago. Trustees questioned if HYA would be good for the job given that Streshly’s tenure was a shorter time than the board "would have liked."

Comments

margomca
Registered user
Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Dec 21, 2020 at 12:14 pm
margomca, Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
Registered user
on Dec 21, 2020 at 12:14 pm
19 people like this

I am shocked to learn that it cost the SUHSD over 250K to get rid of a superintendent so incompetent that teachers, principals and parents had to petition the board to fire her. who were the board members who supposedly vetted her and hired her? Something is wrong with the laws protecting people in high places from the consequences of their poor performances. How much PPE, or computers/tablets could have been purchased with that money???


Martin Engel
Registered user
Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Dec 21, 2020 at 2:31 pm
Martin Engel, Menlo Park: Park Forest
Registered user
on Dec 21, 2020 at 2:31 pm
18 people like this

Quarter of a million dollar salaries for public servants at the county level? Quarter of a million dollar "bribe" to pay off a bureaucrat fired for incompetence in order to avoid law suits, legal fees, and bad publicity? We live in an ever more litigious society where expensive lawyer confrontations are the rule rather than the exception. And government bureaucracies are among the most vulnerable.


ln
Registered user
Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Dec 22, 2020 at 1:57 pm
ln, Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
Registered user
on Dec 22, 2020 at 1:57 pm
16 people like this

To SUHSD: please don’t come to property owners begging for a property tax increase to supply you with increased funding for your district. You obviously are swimming in money, otherwise you would not be giving away quarter million dollar payments to get rid of seemingly incompetent employees. Most companies, who are answerable to shareholders and boards, would fire with cause. When you don’t earn the money you have in your budget, it’s really easy to be wasteful and cavalier in how you spend it. When do we begin to hold these people accountable for wasting taxpayer’s money?


Anne
Registered user
Atherton: West Atherton
on Dec 22, 2020 at 2:49 pm
Anne, Atherton: West Atherton
Registered user
on Dec 22, 2020 at 2:49 pm
11 people like this

You need to write your administrative contracts with strict legal guidelines. This is so unfair to the taxpayers!!


pogo
Registered user
Woodside: other
on Dec 23, 2020 at 5:47 am
pogo, Woodside: other
Registered user
on Dec 23, 2020 at 5:47 am
16 people like this

Keep electing the same people and we'll keep getting the same results.


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