Following a California Public Records Act request, the Morgan Hill Unified School District last week released two emails to the board of education from employees who recently resigned from the district office. 

The letters are from former MHUSD Director of Transportation Kathleen Rael (dated Dec. 29, 2022) and former Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Fawn Myers (dated April 17). In the emails, Rael and Myers respectively explained their decisions to resign to the board. 

Rael had worked for MHUSD for 22 years. Myers had worked there for about 27 years. Both expressed to the board their frustrations with leadership at the district under Superintendent Dr. Carmen Garcia. 

The district redacted portions of the emails that staff claimed do not require disclosure under state open records laws. 

The district released the letters to this newspaper on Aug. 17. 

“I am writing this letter to provide my perspective since the Board has become increasingly alienated and isolated from members of the Executive Cabinet,” Myers wrote in her resignation letter. The Executive Cabinet consists of the district’s three assistant superintendents. 

Following Myers’ resignation, Assistant Superintendent for Finance Kirsten Perez and Assistant Superintendent for Educational Services Pilar Vazquez-Vialva both submitted their resignations from the district. 

“The pipeline of information is narrow and controlled,” Myers’ letter added. “Alternate perspectives are not allowed which has (led) many to feel fearful of retaliation should they speak out.

“Initiatives are hastily implemented, negatively affecting labor relations and eroding trust among employees left to execute without clear plans,” continues Myers’ resignation letter. 

The letter closes, “As I leave, I feel it is my responsibility to inform you of my concerns and insights so that you may continue to watch, monitor, and as necessary, intervene, as you have a duty of care to the District. I believe that systems can right themselves if the individuals within the system are conscientious to do so.”

Rael, in her December resignation letter, states that she started at MHUSD as a bus driver and worked her way up the ranks to director of the district’s transportation department. She states she was “very happy working (for MHUSD) until recently… I am very dissatisfied with the way the district has been run lately.”

As an example, she describes in her letter a decision by Garcia for the 2022-23 school year to change the schools’ bell schedules “at the last minute.” 

“I explained why the new bell schedule would not work and I was told that transportation was not going to dictate the bell schedule and to just make it work,” Rael states in her December email. She added that the new bell schedules raised concerns to her about district bus drivers being able to travel safely between campuses and student pickup/dropoff points.   

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Michael Moore is an award-winning journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor for the Morgan Hill Times, Hollister Free Lance and Gilroy Dispatch since 2008. During that time, he has covered crime, breaking news, local government, education, entertainment and more.


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