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Thursday, February 21 , 2019, 12:48 am | Fair 47º

 
 
 
 

Santa Barbara Schools’ Special Ed Director Resigns

The resignation of the Santa Barbara school district’s special education director is the fourth high-profile departure this school year.

The Santa Barbara school district’s special education director resigned over the holidays, making her the fourth top school official to step down in the first half of this school year.

In an e-mail sent to staff members Dec. 27, Jo Anne Pulley said she is leaving to resume the pursuit of a doctorate degree, which she put on hold three years ago to take the district job.

“The decision to leave has been a difficult one,” she wrote in the e-mail. “I have wrestled with this for months. I have said this often: Second only to motherhood, this is the hardest job I have ever loved!”

She said she will stay with the district until the end of February.

Pulley’s resignation was preceded last year by those of finance director Bob Wolf in July, Assistant Superintendent of Business Ed Diaz in October, and food director Frank Lihn, also in October.

Wolf and Diaz left after the embarrassing discovery of a $5 million surplus, several months after the board made deep cuts to programs. Lihn, who inherited a cafeteria budget with massive debt, stated as his reason for leaving a desire to return to his roots in the food service industry on the East Coast.

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