It took two emergency board meetings which followed a regular board meeting before the DUSD board came to terms with DHS Athletic Director Melinda Escarcega who has been allowed to resign from her position effective Dec. 31, 2018.
Escarcega will remain on paid administrative leave until the time of her resignation. The board did say Escarcega is not re-hirable as an athletic director.
The circumstances around Escarcega’s leaving began Tuesday, Nov. 13 when the board held its regular monthly meeting. One of the final items on the agenda was the possibility of adopting charges against Escarcega for her termination from the district
Prior to going into executive session, the board received a letter from Escarcega who offered to resign. That letter forced the board to table the matter until Wednesday, Nov. 14 at which time an emergency meeting was called.
At the meeting the board stated the letter it received contained several requests which were a nondisclosure agreement, a positive recommendation from the board and a resignation date of Dec. 31, 2018.
Several board members expressed concern with the requests and were insistent that their part include that she is non-rehirable.
The board’s suggestion was sent back to Escarcega and another emergency meeting was called for Friday, Nov. 16. This meeting included an executive session and Escarcega was present at the meeting
Reportedly a new letter from Escarcega was submitted to the board prior to Friday’s meeting which they accepted allowing her to resign instead of being terminated. Because the matter was discussed in executive session it is unclear what the letter stated.
The Douglas Dispatch has filed a Public Records Request with the DUSD asking for a copy of the letter. A response has not been made as of press time Monday.
Escarcega stated after the meeting she appreciates the fact the board recognizes her talents as an administrator and she feels the decision was fair.
“I thank them for reconvening and taking time to do that,” she said.
Meanwhile interim athletic director Katie Walker and an attorney the DUSD hired to help in this matter appeared before the AIA executive board on Monday, Nov. 19 addressing the new violations against the DHS football team.
Currently the DHS athletic program is on a “warning” status. The additional violations could change that penalty to possibly probation. Once a decision is handed down from the AIA Executive Board the Douglas Dispatch will post it online.
In other action at the Nov. 13 board meeting the board agreed to allow Sheila Ayrom, a certified teacher at RBMS, release of her contract with no liquidated damages and she is eligible for rehire.
The board also recognized its Students of the Month and Students on a Roll, approved several classified and certified hires as well as some resignations and retirements.
Several donations were also accepted and some revisions to several policies were also made.
There was also some discussion on the amount of travel DUSD personnel are making and how much it is costing the district. DUSD board member Ray Borane has asked for a study session on this issue to further discuss the amount of money being spent on travel as well as number of days missed out of the classroom.
DUSD officials reported there are currently 4,174 students enrolled in the district, there will be no school and all district offices will be closed Nov. 21-23.
The next regular board meeting will take place Tuesday, Dec. 11.
For more on what happened at the meeting click on the link below.