Rialto Unified School District

Felix Avila. Rialto Unified’s associate superintendent of personnel services, resigned earlier this month, Associate Superintendent for Educational Services Susan Levine and Deputy Superintendent James Wallace will not have their contracts renewed after the coming 2014-15 school year.

By Beau Yarbrough, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Posted: 05/15/14, 7:08 PM PDT |

RIALTO >> As a long, tumultuous 2013-14 school year comes to an end, the school district has dramatically shaken up its top-level management, with one associate superintendent resigning and two more top level officials being told their contracts will not be renewed.

At the Rialto Unified school board meeting Wednesday night, Interim Superintendent Mohammad Z. Islam announced that two cabinet members, Deputy Superintendent James Wallace and Associate Superintendent for Educational Services Susan Levine, will not have their contracts renewed after the coming 2014-15 school year.

For Wallace, that marks the end of a waiting game that began back on Sept. 12, when he and then-Superintendent Harold Cebrun were placed on administrative leave by the board, following the arrest of former district accountant Judith Oakes. She is accused of embezzling $1.8 million from the district’s nutrition services department and who had a personal relationship with Cebrun. In March, the board agreed to let Cebrun retire, but Wallace’s status remained in limbo until Wednesday night.

The announcement came a day after the resignation of another top-level official became effective: Felix Avila, Rialto Unified’s associate superintendent of personnel services, resigned earlier this month.

“His last day with the district was May 13, 2014,” district spokeswoman Syeda Jafri wrote in an email Thursday afternoon.

On Thursday, district officials declined to explain the reasons Levine’s contract was not renewed, citing personnel privacy reasons.

But it wasn’t all bad news for Rialto Unified administrators: The board also voted to promote more than a dozen employees identified only by employee number.

For example, Employee 1079114 is being promoted from “Senior Coordinator, Student Welfare and Attendance” to “Director, Student Welfare and Attendance” for the 2014-15 school year, which starts on July 1. (Classes actually resume on Aug. 4.) Similar promotions happened for other administrators, including some being moved from the principal’s office at school sites to the district’s headquarters, and vice versa.

“It is the end of the school year and it’s not uncommon for school districts to have personnel changes,” board member Joe Ayala said Thursday. “But it’s been a challenging year, it’s no secret, but we have to move forward. We’ve moved some people around that we have confidence in that can help move us in that direction.”

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