Ventura Unified School District Superintendent Michael Babb has been fired by the school board. Babb had been superintendent since July 1, 2015 replacing longtime Superintendent Dr. Trudy Tuttle Arriaga after she retired. He will receive six months of his annual salary of $215,605.
The board voted 4-1 to fire Babb without cause. Trustee Sabrena Rodriguez voted against the firing. The decision was made at a special closed meeting.
The board emphasized that there are no alleged grievances or ongoing investigations into Babb but just felt that a new direction was necessary. Several members felt that his communication and leadership skills were not up to par.
Babb, who lives in Ventura, was previously superintendent of the much smaller Mesa Union School District. He was principal of E.P. Foster Elementary School for five years.
Deputy Superintendent Joe Richards, 60, will serve as interim superintendent until a replacement is hired by the board. Richards stated that he is not interested in filling the position permanently.
When hired Babb stated, “I came to Ventura Unified in 2001, when my own sons and daughter were small. I was a principal at E.P. Foster Elementary, and I brought my children to school with me each day. At the time, Ventura and fatherhood both were new to me, and, like all parents, I hoped and I worried. Would my kids be all right here? Would their teachers be kind? Would they be safe, make friends and learn and grow?”
“As a parent and as a leader, I have found the community and the schools in Ventura to be a rich resource, a comfort and support, a terrific place to work and to raise our children.”
“This is what I wish to preserve for us all, for you and for your children and for their children. I am certain that if we work together as partners, if we use our collective intelligence, creativity and inspiration, if we treat one another with dignity and work cooperatively, we can provide an ideal learning environment for each one of the students in our town. I look forward to discovering together what wonders we can create by working with our hands and our hearts for their benefit.”