Jimenez accepts new superintendent role in Merced City School District

Photo by Crystal Apilado/Winters Express

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The Merced City School District Board of Education approved Diana Jiménez as their new superintendent at their board meeting on Tuesday, May 24.

Jiménez will officially take over as MCSD Superintendent starting July 1, upon the departure of Doug Collins who has been the interim superintendent since July 2021.

MCSD President Birdi Olivarez-Kidwell identified key provisions on the superintendent’s contract prior to the vote. The new superintendent’s contract is for three years, and her annual salary will be $260,000, with step increases of two percent, along with cost of living adjustments, and other benefits.

The MCSD board approved the hire with a 4-1 vote. MCSD Trustee Jessica Kazakos voted “No” without commenting on the matter during the May 24 meeting.

Jiménez has served as the Winters Joint Unified School District Superintendent since July 2020, following the departure of former Superintendent Todd Cutler.

Under her leadership, Winters JUSD paved the way for students to return to school from the COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns.

A community message was sent on behalf of the Winters JUSD Board of Trustees at 1 p.m. on Wednesday to announce Jiménez’s June departure.

President Carrie Green confirmed the Trustees have a goal to secure an interim leader for the school district before Jiménez’s last day on June 23 to ease the transition in leadership.

At a special school board meeting on May 24, Trustees unanimously approved to accept Jiménez’s resignation and to form an Ad Hoc Advisory Committee with the sole goal to find an interim superintendent and to determine the next steps in the process to identify and select the next superintendent.

Green and Trustee Joedy Michael will serve on the committee. They plan to bring in staff and the community to gather feedback in the process.

The next regular Winters JUSD Board of Trustees meeting is scheduled for Thursday, June 9 at 6 p.m.

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