Creswell did apologize for his remarks.
Surprising many, Ventura Unified School District Superintendent David Creswell has announced that he will resign after serving as Superintendent for only 16-months.
The announcement came after several weeks of controversy surrounding a sermon that came to light that he delivered while an elder at Redeemer Baptist Church in Riverside in 2016. Creswell worked for the Fontana Unified School District at the time of the sermon. Only School Board Trustee Mary Haffner called for his resignation.
Creswell will continue to be on district payroll until Aug. 22, 2019, the end of his contract. Creswell will be available to the district during that time to provide assistance to district management as requested.
In the sermon, Creswell gave examples from a high school yearbook of a gay couple and a transgender woman and made remarks that some in the community have deemed to be hurtful toward the LGBTQ community.
In the sermon he stated he was looking through a high school yearbook when on the superlative page under “Best Couple” he saw a gay couple embracing. He said, “Oh, boy. Here we go. Here’s our world.” He went on “Most Changed” was a transgender woman who was pictured in makeup and a dress.
“This is the definition of most changed? This is the definition? There’s a growing sector of our culture, of our society, that says that’s good and that’s normal, and not only do they embrace it, we’re now celebrating it.”
Creswell did apologize for the remarks after meeting with people in the LGBTQ community in Ventura.
Creswell said he’s received a lot of messages since his announcement asking him to reconsider his decision. Many in Ventura do not feel that he should have resigned.
‘My decision was not made in haste,’ Creswell wrote. ‘I have thought, processed, and spoken with a lot of wise and caring people. My wife is at the top of that list. I did hurt people with what I said. Some can heal from that. Others cannot, and I can respect that. I will be working with the school board on an exit plan that will include my resignation. I am proud of everything that I have said and done here in VUSD and have enjoyed working with a gifted group of people. I know that you will continue to work for the future of every student.”
Creswell, who joined Ventura Unified in August of last year, said the job of the superintendent is a tough one, and one that takes ‘everything you have when you have full support. Clearly I am not in that position.”
He is the second superintendent to exit before his “term” was up after former Ventura Unified Superintendent Dr. Trudy Arriaga retired. Michael Babb was removed in 2017 after being fired (4-1) by the board.
Superintendent David Creswell’s last day on the job will be Dec. 21. Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Jeff Davis will serve as interim superintendent. Davis will serve as interim until the board selects, once again a permanent superintendent.
Sabrena Rodriguez, school board president, read a joint statement. “We are grateful for his 18 months of service to the students and community of Ventura Unified. During his tenure, we boosted test scores, enhanced and diversified our curriculum, improved attendance, graduation and college readiness. We want to recognize that during Dave’s tenure as superintendent we adopted history and social science text that focused on ethnic and social justice and the contributions of historically marginalized communities.”