SDUHSD terminates Superintendent Dr. Cheryl James-Ward without cause

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – During a special meeting, the San Dieguito Union High School District has voted to terminate Superintendent Dr. Cheryl James-Ward, without cause.

The termination comes after James-Ward was being criticized for a comment she made referencing Asian student academic performances, with an influx of wealthy Chinese families.

James-Ward is expected to sue SDUHSD, as she believes the board members are retaliating against her for filing a harassment complaint earlier this year.

She released a statement after hearing the news of her termination:

“I heard the news today when I landed in London and was quite surprised. I’ve put my job on the line to make decisions in the best interests of the district, standing against those with nefarious intentions. Sometimes that will cost you your job. I would make the same decisions again because my heart is with kids and our community.”

James-Ward’s contract was set to expire in June 2025, but because she is being terminated without cause, her contract allows her to be paid a year’s salary as a buyout.

She was being paid a $288,000 annual salary.

The interim Superintendent, Tina Douglas, sent the following message to San Dieguito Union High School District families:

Good evening SDUHSD families,

The board held a special meeting this afternoon and unanimously approved the termination of Dr. Cheryl James-Ward as Superintendent, without cause, effective August 15, 2022. The Board wishes Dr. Ward well in her future endeavors.

I know this has been a difficult time for our district, and I want to assure our families that our staff continues to be committed to our students. In an effort to provide some stability, I have agreed to continue to serve as the Interim Superintendent through June 30, 2023. This will allow the Board to conduct a thorough search process with staff, student and community input and the hopes of a permanent Superintendent in time for the start of school in the Fall of 2023. In the coming months, the Board will develop a timeline for the selection process.

I hope you are able to continue to enjoy some family time this summer and we look forward to having your students back in August.

It is my honor to work for you!

Tina Douglas
Interim Superintendent

Categories: Good Evening San Diego, Local San Diego News, Politics