More On Dismissal of AUHSD Superintendent Novack

The Anaheim Union High School District’s public information officer has yet to respond to my e-mail and voice mail requesting additional information on the Board’s dismissal of AUHSD Superintendent Elizabeth Novack, but here is the OC Register article on the subject:

The superintendent of Anaheim Union High School District was terminated after three years on the job, prompting the Board of Education on Tuesday to launch a search for a replacement.

Elizabeth Novack will be paid her $245,000 annual salary as compensation, along with health and welfare benefits for a year, according to the terms of her employment contract, set to expire in 2015.

A memo issued Monday afternoon to Anaheim Union employees stated that Novack’s employment was terminated. An interim superintendent was not immediately announced, but the school board is expected to hire an outside firm to help search for Novack’s permanent replacement.

A majority of the school board didn’t like Novack’s management style, said school board member Anna Piercy, who opposed the superintendent’s termination. Piercy declined to say which school board members disapproved of Novack’s performance.

“No manager is going to be liked by everybody, but a majority of the board didn’t feel they could handle having her as superintendent any longer,” Piercy said. “I think she’s done a good job in managing the district and bringing the community together, but some people didn’t like her.”

Novack, a 1971 graduate of Anaheim High School, could not be reached for comment.

School board president Brian O’Neal declined to discuss Novack’s performance. But he did confirm that she was terminated.

You can read the rest of the article here.

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  1. This is a text sent to all AUHSD employees on Monday, December 2. Note that is specifically states this is not a “for cause” termination. The message was sent by PIO Pat Karlak.

    To all District employees,

    On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I want to inform you of actions taken by the Board.

    The Board of the Anaheim Union High School District has exercised its legal right to terminate its current employment agreement with Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth I. Novack, effective immediately.

    In accordance with the employment agreement (Paragraph 13g), the Board may unilaterally and without cause terminate the superintendent’s employment. This is not a “for cause” termination decision; rather, the Board has elected to exercise its right under the agreement to move in a new direction.

    The Board will decide on an interim superintendent as soon as possible, and take immediate steps to begin a search for a new superintendent.

    The Board thanks Dr. Novack for her service and wishes her success for the future.

    Thank you,

    Brian O’Neal


  2. I am shocked and dismayed as to why the board would terminate Dr. Novack. Her many outstanding accomplishments over these past 3 years should speak for themselves yet apparently the board doesn’t feel the same way. I for one want to know WHY???

  3. She was dismissed “not for cause” which makes the board’s decision even more stupefying. In a cash-strapped district they are going to pay a superintendent even they admit was competent while they pay a second one to “move in a new direction.” Was Dr. Novack ever given a chance to make this course change? How can the board explain their willingness to throw over a quarter of a million dollars down a rat hole to the many low income families of the district?

    • Exactly. How can they explain to us voters that this person who has done everything to turn this district around 3 years ago after the last superintendent left for a better paying job?

  4. As a former teacher in the AUHSD for 39 years, I was not only shocked but angry at the actions taken by the three Board memebers who voted to fire Liz Novack, throwing the District into turmoil. The irresponsible action which will cost the District (students) not only in money (half a million not a quarter million dollars) but in morale as well, was the result of a couple of the Board members not getting their way. The Board can say we don’t know what Ms Novack did….well if she did anything that would have given the Board cause but they let her go “without cause!!” The Board stated they wanted to change direction. So now they will hire some incompetent (who would apply knowing that if they burped the wrong way they would be terminated). That is a great direction to move toward. I only hope that the community is so outraged that they will make sure Annemarie Trejo and Al Jabbar are not reelected in 2014

  5. Amen Linda Barnett! (I believe I had you at OV). It is truely a slap in the face to us parents (as well as students) who got to know Dr. Novack, trusted her and LIKED the direction the district was going in. The “without cause” clause does not mean that board members may operate with administrative recklessness such as this. Yesterday I drove wrestlers to a wrestling match because the district cannot pay for all needed busses for our student athletes. AVID was eliminated at Kennedy due to money. IB came close to elimination (saved by Dr. Novack). Yet a majority of the board can’t work with the ultra professional Dr. Novack for a few more months??? People, we’ve got a clown crew on the AUHSD board (sorry clowns).

  6. There is a board meeting on 12/12. All persons that object to this action should show up and make their voices heard!

  7. That’s what happens when you put a PTA mom on the board. She thinks she knows more than dr Novack

  8. I think it important that people show up on the 12th but even more important is to start now finding people who live in the areas that will be up for election in 2014. Anna Piercy was opposed to the firing and I still strongly support her for the Cypress area, but Al Jabbar has to go as does Annemarie! However, this opens the door for Thomas Holguin, and truthfully I would prefer anyone to him. So hopefully, a couple of good candidates will surface. How about Jan Domeni’s husband…would he be interested?

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