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Coast Unified superintendent resigns from position 

Coast Unified School District superintendent Victoria Schumacher announced her resignation three months after the teacher's union sent a letter to the district expressing its lack of confidence in her leadership.

click to enlarge STEPPING DOWN Coast Unified superintendent Victoria Shumacher announces her resignation at a special meeting Oct. 2. - PHOTO BY KAREN GARCIA
  • Photo By Karen Garcia
  • STEPPING DOWN Coast Unified superintendent Victoria Shumacher announces her resignation at a special meeting Oct. 2.

On Oct. 2, the Cambria Grammar School boardroom was filled with faculty, staff, and parents waiting for the results of a last-minute closed session meeting. The district's board was originally slated to evaluate the superintendent's performance on Oct. 4, but board President Samuel Shalhoub told New Times that extenuating circumstances necessitated a change of plans.

After an hour of deliberation behind closed doors, Shalhoub announced the superintendent's impending retirement.

"For the past 31 years, it has been my privilege to serve California students. From my years as a teacher to my work in shaping curriculum, I've strived to give students the foundation they need to follow their dreams," Schumacher said, fighting back tears. "At this time, our district has new needs emerging. That is why at the end of Jan. 2, 2019, I will pass the torch to new leadership and embrace the many opportunities that await me in retirement."

Schumacher will continue in the superintendent position until Jan. 2, 2019, and will not be involved in district affairs after that date. She will be placed on medical leave, using her own sick leave, from Jan. 3 through 30, 2019. Schumacher will receive a lump sum severance payment equal to three months of salary and health benefits.

Cindy Gustafson, who has been a member of the district food service staff for 25 years, told New Times she felt positive about the situation.

"I think it's a win-win, without doing any other thinking just a spur of the moment thought. It's a win-win situation, which is hopefully what we'll continue to see," Gustafson said.

The board will immediately start looking for an acting superintendent who can begin working when Schumacher leaves. It will also begin a search process to appoint a permanent superintendent to start on June 30, 2019.

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