The new interim Superintendent of the Sweetwater Union High School District said he is focused on the work.
He had only been on the job two days when he spoke to NBC 7 Friday. Wednesday night, board trustees voted 4-1 to place Superintendent Karen Janney on paid administrative leave and named Aguirre as her interim replacement.
The change came after a state audit found “significant evidence of fraud" in the district’s handling of its finances. The District Attorney’s office is reviewing the audit, which said Janney and some former finance staff members may have violated their fiduciary responsibilities.
“It’s a situation where there’s a lot going on,” said Aguirre. “I want to believe our first order of business is to make sure we maintain our education and operations.”
Aguirre said his focus now is reopening school on August 3. For the first four weeks, there will be distance learning, and the district will continue to monitor the pandemic, which has hit the South Bay hard.
Besides the audit and the coronavirus, there is also a huge budget deficit Aguirre will have to handle.
Some members in the community question Aguirre’s qualifications. Hired by the district five years ago, Aguirre was the Assistant Superintendent of Facilities and Operations. Before that, he worked for the San Diego Unified School District, and has experience working with charter schools. He has a doctorate in educational leadership from San Diego State University, but he does not have an administrative or a teaching credential.
“Rather than me speaking to my degree or credentials, I’ll let my work do the talking," he said.