The Sequoia Union High School District has a new superintendent.
The district’s Board of Trustees on Wednesday, March 22, voted unanimously to approve the appointment of Crystal Leach as the new superintendent, effective April 1, at a base salary of $291,979. Leach’s employment will run through March 31, 2027.
Trustee Board President Rich Ginn announced the terms of her contract at Wednesday night's board meeting.
In addition to Leach’s annual salary, she will receive two stipends of $1,283 each for her advanced degrees. Following a satisfactory evaluation at the end of the 2022-2023 school year, Leach will be eligible for a 2.5% merit-based step advancement increase starting July 1.
Leah will also serve in the position of associate superintendent and will receive a stipend of $4,022 per month. This stipend will be prorated and paid until the district fills the position or June 30, whichever comes first.
Leach’s appointment as head of the district follows Darnise Williams’s controversial departure late last year. In December, the board of trustees released a statement that said that the district and Williams had “had mutually agreed to part ways.”
The announcement came after a chaotic week of closed-session meetings and rumors about a possible ousting of the superintendent. The board did not give any specific reasons for Williams’ departure.
Dozens of community members railed against the new school board before and following Williams’s departure. Williams received a severance of $299,000 upon her departure.
Leach previously served as interim superintendent after Mary Streshly resigned from the position in September 2020 amid pressure from teaching and administrative staff calling for her ouster. Streshly is now a part-time adjunct professor at San Francisco State University and California Collaborative for Educational Excellence Fellow for the San Mateo County Office of Education, who provides "executive leadership support and instructional program intervention to struggling charter schools in Oakland," according to her website and LinkedIn profile.