Tuesday, January 17 , 2017, 8:35 pm | Fair 49º


Rural School District Near Santa Maria Terminates Superintendent

The superintendent of a rural school district east of Santa Maria was let go from the post this week, nearly a year after she was placed on paid administrative leave.

The Blochman Union School District Board of Trustees, which governs the 140-student Sisquoc district, voted 5-0 on Tuesday night to terminate the contract of four-year Superintendent Kristin Garrison-Lima “by mutual agreement,” according to a settlement signed by both parties.

Garrison-Lima was placed on paid leave on Feb. 23, 2012, after receiving a letter from the board.

The district has not said why the superintendent was put on leave, and the settlement didn’t clue Garrison-Lima into that fact either, according to her attorney, Barry Bennett of Fresno-based Bennett & Sharpe Inc. Attorneys at Law.

“We’ve been talking for a long time about what to do with this,” he said. “We had no idea what their problem is, and they still don’t.”

Board president Shannon Clay told Noozhawk on Wednesday that the board and superintendent had reached an agreement to part ways, but she would not elaborate further.

According to a copy of the settlement agreement, the district paid Garrison-Lima a lump sum of $30,000 to terminate her half-time contract before its end on June 30, 2014.

The superintendent, who was making $60,834.60 a year, was not dismissed for cause and neither party admitted fault, according to the agreement.

Garrison-Lima’s original contract outlined that a termination without cause would entitle her to be paid her contract or 18 months of salary, whichever was less.

Clay said the board has not yet determined whether to hire another superintendent or continue allowing Principal Doug Brown to perform some superintendent duties.

“We’re just engaging in the future,” she said. “As these things are, I cannot give comment further.”

Bennett said he is hopeful that signing the settlement will make it easier for Garrison-Lima to gain employment, which she has been unable to do without closure.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Reader Comments

Noozhawk encourages free expression, regardless of viewpoint, but requires that such expressions be civil in tone, respectful of other commenters and relevant to the stories on which they are posted. We reserve the right to remove any comment for any reason.

By posting on Noozhawk, you:

» Agree not to submit a comment that is abusive, defamatory, disrespectful, illegal, libelous, profane, vulgar or disparaging (whether on the basis of disability, ethnicity, gender, nationality, race, religion, sexual orientation, traits with which people are born, or otherwise).

» Agree not to submit a comment that attacks or threatens another person, threatens or promotes violence, wishes for harm to befall another person, invades another person's privacy or proprietary rights, or uses expletives (including veiled profanity).

» Agree not to stalk or harass another person, dominate the conversation, discourage participation by others, or bait, belittle, bicker with, mock or taunt others.

» Agree not to solicit others. You agree you will not use Noozhawk’s forums to solicit and/or advertise for personal blogs and websites, without Noozhawk’s express written approval.

» Comments with spam or self-promotional links are not allowed. Comments that include links are automatically routed to a Pending queue. Regularly checking it is not a priority of ours.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >