Sanger Unified School District superintendent Matthew Navo wants to meet with the board to discuss an early release from his contract, according to school board president Marcy Masumoto. But why he wants to leave remained a mystery Wednesday.
Navo, who has served as superintendent for five years, made the request during the regular board meeting Tuesday night after a heated and emotional discussion with the Sanger Unified Teachers Association. The union is in contract negotiations with the district.
A Facebook post by The Sanger Herald suggested the two might have been related, resulting in Navo asking to be let out of his contract before leaving the meeting.
Masumoto said Navo did not resign on Tuesday. The teacher’s union spoke during the public comment session and Navo followed with his scheduled communications, she said. That was when Navo surprised everyone by requesting a meeting with the board, Masumoto said. “We’re trying to arrange that.”
She said Tuesday was the first time she had heard that Navo wanted out of his contract, which expires in 2020. His salary is $194,000 a year with $12,000 in health and welfare benefits. Navo couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday.
Navo has worked in education for more than 17 years. He joined the district in 1999 and held several principal positions before serving as director of special education and area superintendent. He was named superintendent in 2013 after the retirement of Marc Johnson.
Under Navo’s leadership, the district has joined Clovis Unified as one of the top performing districts statewide based on academic performance, graduation rates and the achievement gap among racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups.
“Mr. Navo has an impeccable record with our district and has been completely dedicated to the district,” Masumoto said.
Sara Smith, secretary of the Sanger Unified Teachers Association, released a statement from the union: “SUTA was shocked, along with the rest of the Sanger community, by Mr. Navo’s statements at the Board meeting Tuesday night. We are hopeful that we can work with the community, school board, and District officials to continue to provide the best education for Sanger Students.”