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Firing of AUHSD Superintendent leads to effort to recall the AUHSD School Board


The Anaheim Union High School District’s Board of Trustees recently fired Superintendent Elizabeth Novack, according to Matt Cunningham, a known shill for the Anaheim City Council majority and for former Anaheim Mayor turned lobbyist Curt Pringle, over at his Anaheim blog.

The President of the AUHSD School Board, Brian O’Neal, posted a response to the community members who spoke out against Novack’s firing at a recent school board meeting, at this link.  Novack doesn’t go to great lengths to explain why Novack was fired.

A Facebook Page has been launched that is encouraging the community to recall the AUHSD School Board.  So far it has 34 likes.

A majority of the school board didn’t like Novack’s management style, said school board member Anna Piercy, who opposed the superintendent’s termination. Piercy declined to say which school board members disapproved of Novack’s performance, according to the O.C. Register.

Joseph Farley left the AUHSD in spring 2010 to serve as superintendent at Capistrano Unified. The AUHSD hired Novack, the director of human resources in Newport-Mesa Unified, as the new superintendent, in August of 2010, according to the O.C. Register.

The O.C. Register reported that Novack was pushing for funding to build an expensive aquatic center as the district currently lacks a swimming pool and some in the community would like to see the district’s Latino students learn how to swim.

The AUHSD School Board is also planning to put a bond measure on the ballot in 2014, to pay for facility improvements.  Whether or not the planning for that bond resulted in disagreements between Novack and the School Board remains a mystery.

State School Chiefs Superintendent Tom Torlakson  praised the AUHSD’s Savanna High School – which has multiple college preparatory programs and six technical career pathways – as a model for the state when he visited the district in August of this year, according to the O.C. Register.

Cunningham is using Novack’s firing to bash AUHSD Trustee Katherine Smith, who according to Cunningham “didn’t like that Novack was a strong superintendent.”

Smith filed a complaint with the OC District Attorney against Cunningham’s pal, Anaheim Councilman Jordan Brandman, shortly before the 2012 council election, because she didn’t know why he was using his personal computer in a breakroom during breaks in AUHSD Board of Trustee meetings.

Perhaps Brandman was working on  the government draft report he prepared while he was campaigning for his council seat last year, which turned out to largely have been copied from the Wikipedia entry on Orange County, according to the Voice of OC.

The revelation about the copy-and-paste job in the report prepared for the county clerk-recorder’s office – for which Brandman was paid over $24,000 compelled two County Supervisors to allege that the councilman was inappropriately compensated for work he didn’t finish.

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