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ORANGE : School Personnel Shuffling Continues

Orange County Focus

July 07, 1992|MARY HELEN BERG

Personnel shuffling continues in the Orange Unified School District following the controversial dismissal of Supt. Norman C. Guith and the demotion of three veteran principals and a district administrator.

Leaving the district are Gayle Wayne, hired by Guith in July, 1990, as public information officer and assistant to the superintendent, and Anaida Colon-Muniz, whom Guith in a much-heralded appointment hired to join the district in January as director of bilingual education.

Wayne, recently named 1991 State Administrator of the Year by the Assn. of California School Administrators, said she resigned June 26 to open a public relations and marketing consulting firm and is currently collecting three weeks' vacation.

Colon-Muniz leaves Orange Unified on Aug. 7 and will begin as director of English Language Development and bilingual programs for Santa Ana Unified on Aug. 20. She will sign a one-year contract for up to $67,956, a Santa Ana Unified spokeswoman said. Her Orange Unified salary was $67,200.

While some district insiders said the departure of Wayne and Colon-Muniz is a response to recent tensions within Orange Unified, neither cited turbulence at the district as a primary reason for leaving.

Colon-Muniz said she was excited to be hired by Santa Ana Unified, a larger school district that is "setting the pace" in the county for the education of people who speak little or no English.

"There has been a lot of change (at Orange Unified) in the last couple months, it's true, everyone knows it," Colon-Muniz said. "But my office has not been directly affected by it."

But she added that morale at Orange Unified is low and said that she was pleased to join Santa Ana Unified, where "you hear more about kids and education than (about) the politics of what is going on in the district."

Wayne would not comment on whether her resignation indicated dissatisfaction with the current climate at the district.

Interim Supt. Richard Donoghue said the district hopes to replace Colon-Muniz this summer, but there is currently "no inside candidate for the job."

The district may not replace Wayne because of the current budget crisis, he added, but may decide to redistribute her duties as assistant to the superintendent, public information officer, staff development coordinator and grant application writer.

Administration and board members of Orange Unified have been under fire since February, when trustees decided to send principals Eddie Salgado of La Veta Elementary, Ewell Gunter of Palmyra Elementary and Gerry Uffelman of Richland Continuation High School back to the classroom.

The board also voted to demote Roger Duthoy, assistant superintendent of secondary education, and to fire Guith and buy out the year remaining on his contract. The controversy sparked a drive to recall six of the seven board members.

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