CMS: Interim superintendent appointed, Rodriguez' resignation accepted

Adrian Hedden
Carlsbad Current-Argus
Lavern Shan was hired as deputy superintendent for the Carlsbad Municipal School District.

Officials at Carlsbad Municipal Schools accepted the resignation of Superintendent Dr. Greg Rodriguez, while also appointing an interim superintendent to lead the district as it searches for a permanent replacement.

Deputy Superintendent LaVern Shan was appointed to the position by a motion from board member Simon Rubio and an unanimous vote during Tuesday’s special meeting of the Carlsbad School Board.

She previously served as the second-highest-ranking official at the District since November.

“I am pleased to accept the appointment,” Shan said. “We will continue to meet the needs of all of our students in the district. The goal is environment for learning and support our students and staff.”

More:Superintendent of Carlsbad schools resigns

On her way into the role, Shan said her biggest goal is to increase communication and collaboration among staff and faculty, as well as the Carlsbad community.

“We need to continue collaboration,” she said.

Rodriguez said after about two years in the position, that the district was moving in the right direction and he thinks Shan is the best person to continue that success.

“I think she’s very capable, confident and dedicated,” Rodriguez said. “The district is going in the right direction.”

For the future of the District, Rodriguez said he hoped improvements to instruction will continue.

More:Carlsbad High School principal requests transfer, search for new administrator begins

He pointed to programs such as West ED, Discovery Education and the Achievement Network as programs the District collaborated with during Rodriguez’s tenure.

“I think we made a lot of progress, particularly in that our students’ needs were met,” Rodriguez said. “It’s no different than any other district. You align systems, and make sure everything is best for the community.

Carlsbad Municipal Schools superintendent Gregory Rodriguez, Ph.D, speaks at ECHS commencement Thursday, May 17, 2018.

“We’re going to continue the improvement of our teaching and learning. We need standard-based learning and quality in instruction.”

While he declined to specify the specifics, Rodriguez said he has accepted a position in education in Connecticut.

“I had an opportunity I couldn’t pass up,” Rodriguez said. “It was the best for me, and my family to pursue this opportunity. I thank the Board and this community for the opportunity.”

As for the numerous controversies surrounding the departure of Carlsbad High School Principal Adam Amador and allegations of racisim, Rodriguez said it was a “personnel matter” that did not factor into his resignation.

More:Deputy superintendent hired at Carlsbad schools

Amador was accused by District Judge Lisa Riley of “viewpoint” discrimination when he allegedly tried to distrupt Riley’s son Will Riley’s pro-gun rally held on school grounds.

Amador was later accused of unfairly taking down student artwork on a similar topic.

“That’s certainly not anything I considered when making this decision,” Rodriguez said.

CMS’ director of secondary education and college and career readiness Eric Spencer said the focus needs to be on student success, not past controversies.

More:Complaint claims Carlsbad school district guilty of defamation against district judge

“It’s just the continual focus on what matters,” he said. “We want to prepare our students for their next grade levels and endeavors in life. I think they’ve appointed the right person to keep our focus on instruction.”

The board also voted unanimously to begin the process of finding a new superintendent and appointed Board President David Shoup and board member Andrew Harris the search committee.

No specifics were given as to how long the search was expected to last.

“We have confidence that there are very well qualified individuals submitting applications,” Spencer said. “We are very confident that they will make the right decision.”

Adrian Hedden can be reached at 575-628-5516, achedden@currentargus.com or @AdrianHedden on Twitter.