Trustees rate supe’s performance ‘unsatisfactory’

Betando said he was ‘surprised’ by majority decision

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Morgan Hill Unified School District Board of Education dais.

A majority of the seven-member Morgan Hill Unified School District Board of Trustees gave Superintendent Steve Betando an “unsatisfactory” performance rating at their June 16 meeting.

Under Betando’s contract with the school district, the board is required to give him an annual performance evaluation. Trustees discussed Betando’s performance over the past year in a June 16 online closed session.

After the closed discussion, MHUSD Board President Carol Gittens said four trustees voted to rate Betando’s performance “unsatisfactory.” Three of the trustees gave him a “satisfactory” rating.

With an evaluation of “unsatisfactory,” Betando is not entitled to an automatic salary raise of 3 percent, under the terms of his contract.

Betando said June 17 that he was “surprised” about the board’s majority unsatisfactory rating, but didn’t offer further details. “I heard about it the same time as everyone else and I haven’t seen anything in writing yet,” Betando said via text message.

Trustees rating Betando’s performance unsatisfactory were John Horner, Adam Escoto, Board Vice President Wendy Sullivan and Heather Orosco.

Trustees Gittens, Mary Patterson and Jeanne Gilliard gave Betando a satisfactory evaluation.

Gittens declined to comment on the reason for her decision, explaining that the discussion was a personnel matter that is confined to the closed session.

Gittens added that the board members are in the process of finalizing written feedback to Betando regarding his annual performance. Those comments, which are also protected as private, are due by June 30.

Betando signed his current contract in November 2019. The board president and vice president—Patterson and Gittens at the time, respectively—signed the document in December.

Betando’s salary as of July 1, 2019, was $278,901.

“The board shall devote a portion of at least one meeting each school year for discussion and evaluation of the Superintendent’s performance as it relates to the district’s progress toward LCAP goals and the working relationship between the superintendent and the board,” reads the contract.

LCAP is the Local Control and Accountability Plan that local school districts in California complete periodically to establish the goals, expenditures and actions to support positive education outcomes and local priorities.

Betando has been MHUSD’s superintendent since 2014. He previously served as the district’s human resources administrator and interim superintendent.