2 departures and 2 suspensions lead to more turnover at the top

A dismissal, two suspensions and a sudden retirement mark another tumultuous week for K12 superintendents and their school boards.

Two of the moves took place in the suburbs of Boston, Massachusetts, where Saugus Public Schools’ board on Thursday fired Superintendent Erin McMahon, who has been on paid administrative leave for the past 10 months, Itemlive reported.

An investigation by the board accused McMahon, who took the helm in July 2021, of failing to disclose a relationship with a graduate school that provided consulting services to the district and allowing another consultant to charge excess fees. McMahon called the investigation flawed and discriminatory, according to Itemlive.

The Everett School Committee has placed Superintendent Priya Tahiliani on “non-disciplinary, paid administrative leave,” having already decided in a narrow vote this spring that her contract would not be renewed when it expires next year.

Shortly after that decision, Tahiliani sued Everett Public Schools and the city’s mayor, Carlo DeMaria, alleging she had been subjected to racist and sexist comments.

In announcing the suspension on Oct. 30, the committee says it is investigating “10 employee complaints” made against Tahiliani’s leadership, WBUR reported.

Elizabeth Keenan, superintendent of the Special School District of St. Louis County, was also placed on administrative leave late last month though no reasons were made public, The St Louis Business Journal reported. A district staff memo shared by several news outlets described the issue as an “internal personnel matter.” Keenan has been with the special education district since 2019, having previously served as chief officer of Chicago Public Schools’ Office of Diverse Learners and Health and Wellness.

In Louisiana, the Monroe City School Board voted Monday “to retire” Superintendent Brent Vidrine, who was placed on leave late last month, according to the Monroe News-Star. A preliminary investigation by the district “raised serious concerns” about Vidrine’s actions, though the investigators had yet to make a final conclusion, KNOE reported.

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.