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Poway school board votes to terminate superintendent after investigation

In World
May 01, 2024

POWAY, Calif. (FOX 5/KUSI) — The Poway Unified school board voted unanimously Tuesday to terminate the district’s superintendent following a months-long investigation.

Marian Kim Phelps’ character came under fire during a November board meeting. At that time, students and parents had raised harassment allegations against the superintendent stemming from a Del Norte High School softball banquet in May. Also in November, a softball player filed a lawsuit accusing Phelps of bullying her and her teammates because they did not clap loud enough for her daughter, also a softball player, during the banquet.

Phelps denied the allegations, which included calling and texting students.

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In February, the board placed Phelps on administrative leave.

After the board heard public comment Tuesday, trustees went into closed session for nearly three hours. During closed session, FOX 5/KUSI learned from the board that the independent investigation that started in November and concluded earlier this month brought to light “previously unknown evidence” from witnesses with firsthand knowledge that contradicted Phelps’ statement to the board, district staff and the public.

The board said based on Phelps’ conduct, they lost confidence and trust in her to continue as a superintendent and to work collaboratively with them.

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Parents say awaiting Phelps’ termination has been long and painful.

“I’m glad it finally came to this decision, but for months and months of families that have had to endure hardships for mental hardships with this whole situation is the unfortunate part of it,” parent Rachelle Babler said to FOX 5/KUSI on Tuesday.

The board says Interim Superintendent Greg Mizel will continue in his role during the transition period.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to FOX 5 San Diego & KUSI News.

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