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Morgan Hill
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January 14, 2022

Betando announces resignation from MHUSD

Superintendent worked for district for about 10 years

Morgan Hill Unified School District Superintendent Steve Betando announced today that he will resign from the district at the end of the current school year.

Betando has worked as an administrator at MHUSD for the last decade. In 2013, the board of education appointed him as interim superintendent, succeeding Wes Smith in the post. After several months on the job and a thorough vetting process, the board appointed Betando as permanent superintendent.

Steve Betando, MHUSD Superintendent

“Under Steve’s leadership the past eight years, the district has continued on an upward trajectory of improvement in several areas including financial position, facility enhancements, positive employee labor relations, and academic achievement,” said Board President Carol Ann Gittens. “He has demonstrated a high commitment to students, staff, community and overall leadership to the district. Mr. Betando has modeled respect and calm in the midst of challenges and pressure. On behalf of the Board and community, I thank Mr. Betando for giving to our community and advising hundreds of educators and trustees in Morgan Hill with his 36 years of experience and knowledge as an educator.”

Betando’s announcement comes less than six months after four of the seven current trustees on the MHUSD board rated his performance as “unsatisfactory.” With an unsatisfactory evaluation, Betando this year was not entitled to an automatic salary raise of 3 percent, under the terms of his contract. As of July 1, 2019, his salary was $278,901.

Betando counts among his accomplishments during his time at MHUSD an increase in educational equity and access for all students; developing high-quality staff throughout the district; establishing positive working relationships with labor groups; creating a culture of continuous improvement; and building sustainable budget practices, reads a press release from MHUSD.

Betando announced his resignation in a Dec. 2 conference call with the district’s Morgan Hill Educational Leaders Association. His resignation will be effective June 30, 2021.

“I am so grateful for the opportunity with Morgan Hill Unified School District these last 10 years,” Betando said. “I have valued the exceptionally high standards for ethical practices and professionalism of this staff. I am extremely proud of the countless individual and group efforts that have led to tremendous accomplishments together with our students. Mostly, I will miss the deep human connection with our superior educators and community members. The District has great momentum moving forward and one of my goals is to help make the transition as smooth as possible.”

Danielle Nunes, Morgan Hill Classified Employees Association (MHCEA) President, said she is especially appreciative of Betando’s diligence with the labor groups to create an equal and equitable workplace for all, according to the press release.

“He worked hard to repair the relationships between the district and the classified employees,” Nunes said. “He was adamant during every negotiation that all groups receive the same increases and made sure that we never felt less valued than others. He has always been fair with his decisions and always open to new ideas from anyone, always looking at the betterment of the students and the district as a whole. Personally, he allowed me to grow and learn in my leadership and gave me the tools to succeed. I am thankful for the opportunity to have worked with him.”

James Levis, Morgan Hill Federation of Teachers (MHFT) President, commended Betando for his years of service to the district and Morgan Hill community.

“He has had a positive impact on the students and families of MHUSD and I am grateful for his commitment to educating all students,” Levis said. “He has been a steady rudder in the current storm of COVID and I appreciate his support of MHFT as we have negotiated this difficult situation. I wish him continued success wherever his future may lead.”

During his time as superintendent, Betando will have worked under 23 elected MHUSD trustees serving as the organization’s top staff member. His tenure was rocky at times, and met with resistance from members of the public and some of the trustees who have employed him.

In June, a majority of trustees—John Horner, Adam Escoto, Wendy Sullivan and Heather Orosco—gave Betando an unsatisfactory performance evaluation. Trustees Gittens, Mary Patterson and Jeanne Gilliard gave him a satisfactory rating.

Gittens said Dec. 2 that the board will discuss the search process for Betando’s replacement as soon as possible, with the goal of hiring a new superintendent by July 1, 2021.

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