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Officials: Supt. is leaving

Kevin Jolly hasn't made an official announcement, but many say he’s on the way out.

December 05, 2009|By Max Zimbert and Christopher Cadelago

WEST BURBANK — Little more than six months after taking over as the Burbank Unified School District’s superintendent, Kevin Jolly is expected to announce his resignation in a statement Monday, officials said.

Burbank Unified’s Board of Education is also scheduled to meet early Monday to discuss Jolly’s severance package, said district officials who did not want to be named because the announcement had not yet been made.

Reached Friday at a conference in San Diego, Jolly would neither confirm nor deny reports that he confided in several district and city officials about the pending announcement.

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Jolly formally took Burbank Unified’s reins July 1 after being hired on with a mandate to innovate classroom instruction and modernize the district.

A shake-up to senior leadership was expected in the wake of Deputy Supt. Joel Shapiro’s departure to be superintendent at South Pasadena Unified.

Burbank Unified school board members Friday declined to discuss the pending announcement or were unaware of it, but they stressed it would be Jolly’s decision.

“We have a new superintendent, and we’re working through some issues with him, but the concept of us taking any action to fire him, we’d have to notice that and have public discussions,” said board member Larry Applebaum, who as board president was instrumental in Jolly’s hiring.

He added that there were “multiple things on the table,” citing the recent departure of Shapiro and Sue Boegh, the district’s director of educational support services.

Other board members said they were anxious to have rumors of Jolly being fired put to rest.

“What he needs to do is make that statement that answers all the questions that are out there,” school board President Dave Kemp said. “I think that’s the appropriate thing.”

But sources close to the situation said the decision to leave was not made entirely by Jolly, who wasn’t interested in “coming into a place where he’s being bludgeoned to death by people who will not accept his vision and goals,” said a source who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Still, Jolly generated a number of critics through his management and leadership style, which some described as “suffocating” and “overbearing.”

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