Austin Beutner Steps Down from Superintendent Position

After serving over 3 years as superintendent, Austin Beutner’s contract will expire on June 30.

Biology+teacher+Peggy+Shim+%28Right%29+is+speaking+with+Superintendent+Austin+Beutner+%28Left%29

CREDIT: Ivan Delgado | THE MIRROR

Biology teacher Peggy Shim (Right) is speaking with Superintendent Austin Beutner (Left)

Headline: Austin Beutner stepping down from superintendent position

Subheadline: Despite the fact that Beutner will no longer be Superintendent of LAUSD as a result of his expiring contract, his reputable efforts and contributions towards the district will continue to be admired.

Custom Excerpt: After serving as Superintendent of the district for over three years, Beutner’s contract will expire on June 30.

Byline: Eleonora Badikyan

Body:

Due to the expiration of his three year contract, LAUSD’s superintendent Austin Beutner announced his resignation from the position. As of June 30, a new eligible individual will take on the role of superintendent.

The announcement of his upcoming departure was revealed during a closed-door meeting where the school board evaluated Austin Beutner and discussed other school-related issues.

Beutner has been LAUSD’s superintendent as far back as May of the year 2018, leading the district through the forsaken pandemic that has been prominent since March of last year. And seeing as he has assumed this position for over three years now, it is evident that Beutner has accomplished many goals regarding students’ education.

Although, when he was first chosen for the job many staff members were conflicted about his qualifications. This was primarily because he had a background as a businessman, and previously held positions which did not strictly relate to education.

“At first, I was a bit disappointed because I felt the person selected should have had a background in education,” Principal Yolanda Gardea said.

Assistant Principal Michelle Brownridge Keller had a similar initial perception of the newly hired individual.

“My first impression of having anyone without an educational background be the leader of the second largest district in the nation was not favorable,” Assistant Principal Keller said. “Education has so many layers and laws, I believed that we needed a leader who had more experience and a better understanding of how the intricate layers of policy, bureaucracy, and instruction could all work together to support students.”

However, upon observing Beutners consistent attitude and conduct, their opinions progressively changed.

“Once he was selected, he participated in a series of meetings to listen to what principals felt needed to be done in order to improve LAUSD,” Principal Gardea said. “I was selected to participate in these meetings and saw that Mr. Beutner was
listening and making changes that would indeed make things better for the life of a principal.”

Beutner’s ability to guide the district during times of crisis further elevated staff members’ views of him. In the year of 2019, more than 30,000 public-school teachers participated in a strike in an attempt to achieve higher pay and smaller class sizes. Being dealt such an important matter, Austin Beutner equitably acknowledged what the teachers were fighting for.

“I think he did an amazing job handling the fires, teacher strike and the pandemic,” Principal Gardea said. “He was able to keep school going, and got hotspots and devices to thousands of students in a relatively short amount of time.”

And in February of the year 2021, Beutner declared a $200 million commitment directed towards tackling achievement gaps among Black students, as well as other students, in the district.

“During this past year I was extremely proud of how our district, under Beutner’s leadership, provided one of the largest meal programs and COVID testing programs in the country to our students and families,” Vice Principal Keller said.

Many particularly appreciated the informative and communicative briefings he released each week.

“One of the things I did enjoy was his transparency and weekly video updates,” Vice Principal Keller said. “Being informed about what is occurring at and throughout the district helps to promote a greater sense of unity and accountability.”

Upon hearing that Beutner had announced his resignation, the news of him stepping down from his position cast a shade across the district.

“I was very sad to hear he would not continue as Superintendent,” Principal Gardea said. “I feel that Mr. Beutner was very good at communicating his vision and was transparent about his intentions.”

Staff members are optimistic in regards to what Beutner may go on to accomplish, as well as potentially his future work and contributions towards the district.

“I hope he continues to work with our schools to provide much needed services to our communities.” Assistant Principal Keller said.

Following a board meeting in the month of April this year, it was revealed that the new Superintendent will be Dr. Jeff Davis. Many staff members hope that he will preserve and continue to exercise the procedures and practices that Beutner implemented during his time at LAUSD.

“We have had some superintendents that led with fear of being fired, and that is not a good way to work,” Principal Gardea said. “Leaders need to listen to their people and be aware of their needs. I think the next superintendent, like Mr. Beutner, should lead with confidence, compassion, and kindness.”