Superintendent quits after just a month, another gets a huge raise

Mike Swize has stepped down as superintendent less than a month after he was hired by the Perris Elementary School District in Southern California. But he was swiftly replaced, The Press-Enterprise reports.

Mike Swize
Mike Swize

Perris’ second superintendent of the summer is Bruce Bivins, a former San Diego USD area superintendent who has also worked in Los Angeles USD and Seattle Public Schools. For Swize, the resignation was his second move of the summer—he resigned as superintendent of Palm Springs USD in June to take the job in Perris.

Also back in June, Perris school board President Douglas Corona detailed the extensive search that resulted in Swize’s hiring and touted the new superintendent’s achievements in data-driven student improvement, English learner achievement, restorative practices, collaborative team building, community outreach and fostering of equitable and inclusive environments.

“As a team, the board is confident Dr. Swize’s vision aligns well with the board’s mission and vision for the advancement of the Perris Elementary School District,” Corona said in a new release. “His appointment will bring a new standard for the community we serve, and therefore create positive regional change.”

In Michigan, Superintendent Steve Patchin told local news outlets that he will resign from Hancock Public Schools in September because his goals for the district no longer align with the school board’s vision. “I will miss working with the students, teachers and parents of Hancock,” Patchin told TV6. In North Carolina, Superintendent Emily Lipe intends to retire from Davidson County Schools in September after more than 30 years with the system, WFFD reports.

New superintendents and salary increases

One superintendent is enjoying a whopper of a raise as the 2023-24 school year approaches. The Central Bucks School District in Pennsylvania has given Superintendent Abram Lucabaugh a nearly 40% increase, raising his salary from $229,500 to $315,000 and making him the second-highest-paid superintendent in Pennsylvania after Philadelphia’s superintendent, Tony Watlington, WHYY reports.

The competition was a big factor in the decision. The huge pay hike was necessary because “over the course of the last year, many have reached out to Dr. Lucabaugh and tried to recruit him,” board president Dana Hunter said, according to WHYY. “I believe it’s in the best interest of this district to keep him.”

Tabetha Housekeeper
Tabetha Housekeeper

Among the most notable hires within the last week is Tabetha Housekeeper, who will become the first female superintendent of Williamsburg Independent Schools in Kentucky, WYMT reports. Housekeeper has served at all levels of K12 in Kentucky and also worked in higher education. In Texas, McAllen ISD Superintendent J.A. Gonzalez has been chosen as the next superintendent of Harlingen Consolidated ISD.

Another superintendent on the move is Melissa “Missy” McTiernan, who will take over at Pennsylvania’s Phoenixville Area School District after having led the Scranton School District since 2019.

More new hires

[soliloquy id=”138239″]

Matthew Zalaznick
Matthew Zalaznick
Matt Zalaznick is a life-long journalist. Prior to writing for District Administration he worked in daily news all over the country, from the NYC suburbs to the Rocky Mountains, Silicon Valley and the U.S. Virgin Islands. He's also in a band.