After one year at the helm of the city of Birmingham’s public school system, Superintendent Dr. Kelley Castlin-Gacutan‘s contract was terminated Thursday by the Birmingham Board of Education.
The board voted to terminate Castlin-Gacutan Thursday evening by a 6-3 vote, during a special meeting called to discuss governance and leadership of the Birmingham school system.
“This school year just started and we’re going to terminate her without cause it’s inappropriate and it’s wrong,” Board Member Randall Woodfin said at the meeting.
Woodfin, along with Lyord Watson and Brian Giantinna, were the three members who voted against terminating Castlin-Gacutan’s contract. Woodfin said the district needs to learn why it can’t keep a Superintendent. “We all need to challenge ourselves to figure out why we continue to have these issues.”
Per her employment contract, the vote served as Castlin-Gacutan’s 60 days notice of termination. For her final two months, she will be on paid administrative leave.
While the details of her contract were debated at the meeting, the Birmingham school system will have to pay out Castlin-Gacutan’s remaining salary and benefits for the next two years of her contract, which was set to expire on June 30, 2018. Those payments could total over $400,000 as Castlin-Gacutan was being paid $202,000 a year.
Prior to being named Superintendent in Birmingham, Castlin-Gacutan served as Deputy Superintendent of School Operations and Interim Superintendent in the Bibb County School District in Macon, Georgia. She was a seasoned educator with 24 years of experience including classroom teacher, assistant principal, principal, district level administrator, and university professor/director.
An explicit reason was not given for her termination, though fiscal responsibility was brought up during the meeting.
Following the termination vote, the board named longtime administrator and director of schools for zone four, Larry Contri, interim superintendent.