San Bernardino school board members badmouthed former superintendent, claim says – San Bernardino Sun

In a claim against San Bernardino City Unified, former superintendent Harry “Doc” Ervin says two school board members publicly disparaged him, breaking the terms of a settlement agreement between himself and the district.

Ervin, who retired from the San Bernardino school district on June 30, seeks $500,000 in damages.

In closed session Tuesday, Jan. 17, school board members Scott Wyatt, Mayra Ceballos, Mary Ellen Abilez Grande and Mikki Cichocki rejected Ervin’s claim.

Trustees Danny Tillman and Abigail Rosales-Medina recused themselves from the vote, according to a report out of the closed door meeting.

The board presently has one vacant seat.

Reached by phone this week, Tillman and Rosales-Medina declined to comment on the claim under advice of legal counsel.

Ervin was appointed superintendent in March 2021 and assumed the post that July.

His contract ran through 2024.

In a phone interview Thursday, Ervin said his relationship with the board deteriorated in March 2022 after he received scant support for a yearlong project called the “Framework for Excellence,” a plan designed by Ervin and district stakeholders to strengthen the district’s teaching and learning culture by developing targeted professional development for administrators, certificated and classified staff in reading, mathematics and language development.

Only Wyatt, Ceballos and former trustee Gwen Dowdy-Rodgers supported the initiative, Ervin said.

The proposal ultimately died on the vine.

Ervin announced shortly thereafter he would be retiring.

“I felt (the board) needed someone who better fit their educational philosophy,” Ervin said this week. “If my presence was going to impede the ability for kids to be successful, it was better for me to move on and retire.”

In April, Ervin and the district signed a settlement agreement that included a provision prohibiting either party from disparaging the other.

Tillman and Rosales-Medina breached that clause, Ervin says.

First, in June, at the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials in Chicago, Rosales-Medina said amongst a group of school administrators, board members and others from the Bakersfield City School District, where Ervin previously served as superintendent, that Ervin “was a terrible Superintendent, who would not listen to Board [sic], who never should have been hired, or words to that effect,” Ervin writes in his claim filed with the district.

Secondly, in August, Tillman called Ervin a “sick person” and “evil” in a report published by the San Bernardino County Sentinel, Ervin says.

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