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LANCASTER — Shandelyn Williams, Antelope Valley Union High School’s assistant superintendent of Student Services, will get a 10% bump in pay next month when she begins service as interim superintendent as the District looks for a successor to Superintendent David Vierra, who will retire at the end of August.

Williams was appointed to serve as interim superintendent at a special July 7 meeting. The Board also appointed Greg Nehen, who serves as assistant superintendent of Educational Services, as interim deputy superintendent.

Williams and Nehen, who will get a 5% pay increase as deputy superintendent, start their new positions on Aug. 28. The increases are good through June 30, 2022, or until a superintendent is hired. The Board approved a $25,500 contract with executive search firm Leadership Associates at the July 7 meeting to conduct a superintendent search for the District. The proposed timeline would see the Board approve a contract with a new superintendent in December.

Board members approved amendments to Williams’ and Nehen’s contracts at the July 14 Board meeting on separate 3-1 votes, with member Victoria Ruffin dissenting both times. Member Amanda Parrell was absent from the July 14 meeting.

Ruffin, who was absent from the July 7 meeting, said she is hopeful that the District can move forward.

“I’m hopeful that this District is able to turn for the better after 24 years of nepotism and cronyism,” Ruffin said. “I would love to have an interim superintendent that is neutral and transparent, not a part of the status quo or subjected to any of the status quo previous issues.”

Ruffin added she would like to see a retired seasoned superintendent with no ties to Vierra or members of his cabinet serve as interim superintendent.  

She also said that she did not receive notice in advance of the special meeting.

“I was not able to change my schedule. I’m sure other Board members were given that luxury,” Ruffin said.

Vierra clarified, after Ruffin finished speaking, that the notification for the special meeting, which was scheduled for 1 p.m. on July 7,  went out to all Board members, including Ruffin.

“You’re right Dr. Vierra, you did send it out,” Ruffin said.

However, she said that she did not receive a call to ask if she was available at that time. She said she does not check the email account every day.

“As a professorial courtesy, you can call me on my phone or whomever you choose to call me on my phone and leave a message,” Ruffin said.

Board Clerk Donita Winn said she was not asked about the time of the meeting.

“I had a doctor’s appointment that I waited two months for that was at the time of this meeting,” Winn said. “There was no collusion about having this meeting on a certain day. I just want to make that clear.”

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