Superintendent Trevor McDonald received a payout when he left the Lompoc Unified School District last month, although the board did not release details.

The beleaguered district chief, who held the title for nine years, abruptly resigned on July 25, citing family reasons for his departure, which was announced after a rare special midday board meeting.

However, a resignation agreement signed by McDonald and council president Nancy Schuler-Jones stipulated that the district should pay the balance of his contract – 11 months, or $251,414, in a lump sum payment. He also received compensation for accumulated vacation, but the agreement did not specify the number of days or the amount.

“It is the mutual intention of the parties that all problems, claims and disputes of whatever nature be fully and finally resolved and that no party to this Agreement shall be subject to any additional risk or exposure, except otherwise provided herein. continued,” the agreement states.

The three-page agreement contains other terms.

“Responses by board members to any inquiries regarding McDonald’s employment in the district shall not be derogatory in any way,” according to the agreement.

Likewise, the pact states that McDonald’s “forever releases and discharges” the district and its officers from all claims, suits, grievances and other liabilities.

A press release issued by the district on the day of McDonald’s resignation did not disclose the terms of the resignation agreement.

“There are reasons, but it wasn’t due to a lack of transparency,” Schuler-Jones said.

The lack of detail was particularly opaque for a council that received low scores from staff and parents in a climate survey and has spoken of regaining trust. A few weeks earlier, the district released climate survey results that showed only 16.8% of staff and 37.7% of parents felt the board was generally effective or very effective at building trust among stakeholders. Communication with stakeholders also received a low rating, with 22.3% of staff and 38.7% of parents giving the board a generally effective or very effective response.

The partial story of McDonald’s departure also came as the district prepares to ask voters to approve a bond measure. Many in Lompoc viewed McDonald’s as an obstacle to getting voters to support the latest effort to pass a bond measure and were happy to see him go, but angered the board who did not readily provide details of the resignation agreement.

Three previous attempts under his leadership have failed to get bond measures approved, one in 2016 and two more in June 2018 and November 2018. Measure A in the November 8 ballot will ask voters to approve a bond $125 million for various projects needed in Lompoc. Valley Campus.

A few days after McDonald’s resigned, Assistant Superintendent Bree Valla also resigned. She did not receive payment from the Lompoc board, Schuler-Jones said.

Valla left for a job at the much smaller Vista De Las Cruces Union school district in Gaviota, where her three-year contract includes an annual salary of $185,000. The only school has an enrollment of less than 100, compared to more than 9,000 for Lompoc.

The Lompoc School Board has hired Debbie Blow, a retired superintendent of the Orcutt Union School District, to serve as interim chief.

Leadership Associates was hired to lead the search for McDonald’s replacement.

Schuler-Jones said the council hopes to hire a new superintendent by the winter recess.

– Noozhawk North County Editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.