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Los Angeles

Schools Chief Won't Return

South Pasadena's board says it will not renew the superintendent's contract, citing state academic rankings in making the decision.

March 15, 2004|Erika Hayasaki | Times Staff Writer

The South Pasadena school board has decided not to renew Supt. Mike Hendricks' two-year contract, board President Tammy Godley said Sunday.

"Mike is a talented guy and he has served our district well, but the board is looking for a strong leader that can take this great district to the next level," Godley said.

"We have lofty goals of South Pasadena being really one of the flagships of education in the country, and we would like a strong leader who shares that vision, and has the necessary skills to take us there," she said.

The South Pasadena Unified School District's five campuses each received rankings of 10 -- on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest -- on the state's 2003 Academic Performance Index, which uses standardized test results in grades two through 11 to measure achievement. The district serves 4,000 students.

But when compared with other schools in the state with similar demographics, including students' racial makeup, English language skills and socioeconomic status, the district's middle school and high school each scored 6.

The board wants a leader who will set high goals to improve academic performance on the secondary campuses, Godley said. It also wants to find an inspirational leader who can connect with the community.

Hendricks' "skill set and his strengths didn't match as well with what the board is looking for," Godley said.

Hendricks formerly served as an assistant superintendent at the district. He replaced Les Adelson, who resigned after nine years to take another job.

Hendricks received a salary of $128,000 a year. He will serve out the remainder of his two-year contract, which expires June 30, Godley said. He could not be reached for a comment Sunday.

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