The director of human resources for Palm Beach County public schools resigned this week after the school district superintendent decided to demote him to a college principal position.
Human resources chief Gonzalo La Cava said he resigned on Tuesday, shortly after schools superintendent Mike Burke signaled his intention to transfer him to the post of principal of Tradewinds Middle School. in Greenacres.
His last day will be January 31, he said.
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La Cava, who has held the post since 2016, drew the ire of the teachers’ union and some school board members last year as the reopening of school campuses approached amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
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The president of the teachers’ union went so far as to demand the ouster of La Cava at the time, blaming him for the district’s “shameful” failure to put in place a process for employees with health problems to ask for it. authorization to work remotely.
The failure to put in place a timely process played a significant role in the tumultuous weeks of the reopening of schools. Hundreds of teachers who have been denied last-minute requests to work from home have used sick days to stay home, causing a sudden shortage of teachers and empty classrooms across the district.
The superintendent of schools at the time, Donald Fennoy, refused to remove La Cava from his post. But Burke, who took office in July, signaled his intention to transfer him this week, adding the decision to the agenda for Wednesday’s school board meeting.
In a statement, La Cava said he was proud of his background as head of the district’s human resources department, which oversees matters of hiring, training and certification.
He said his department won a state award for excellence in management this year, and its teacher recruitment efforts were recognized last year by Education Week, a national education publication.
âI think the district is moving in the right direction and it has been an honor to serve the Palm Beach School District and call it my home,â he said. âIn the pursuit of continued personal growth, it is time to seize a new opportunity. “