April 29, 2021

The SUHSD Board of Trustees have spoken. In a 3-1 vote, along with one abstention from Trustee Arturo Solis, Trustees Nick Segura, Adrian Arancibia, and Paula Hall selected Dr. Moises Aguirre as Sweetwater Union High School District’s Permanent Superintendent for three years. 

We want to take this opportunity to thank and acknowledge Dr. Paul Gothold and Dr. Latanya Rogers at the San Diego County Office of Education for leading the SUHSD’s Superintendent Search. Out of the twelve applicants Dr. Rogers and her team presented to the SUHSD’s Board of Trustees, four, including Dr. Aguirre, advanced as top candidates. While Dr. Aguirre is not credentialed, the majority Board, by their selection, waived this requirement for him to lead the district, after serving as interim Superintendent for less than one year. We applaud Trustee Frank Tarantino for advocating for the requirements of the Superintendent to include an administrative services credential and extensive educational leadership experience.

The NAACP San Diego Branch has received multiple complaints regarding inequitable treatment experienced in Sweetwater (under Dr. Aguirre’s leadership), and we want to acknowledge the community’s desire for a leader who could unify us in a goal of achieving equity, access, and a sense of belonging for all stakeholders, regardless of race.

We hear your voices. The NAACP San Diego branch will continue to advocate for our stakeholders and welcome an opportunity for transparency and healing. Today, we ask that Superintendent Aguirre and his staff do the same by carrying out the following:

  1. Set up a meeting with the NAACP San Diego Branch to discuss the next steps, including reopening plans for the 2021-2022 School Year.
  2. Plan and make allocations for the NAACP San Diego Branch to provide training before schools reopen fully in the Fall to ALL STAFF regarding racism that includes and does not exclude anti-Blackness.
  3. Collaborate with our community to address systemic inequities that occur against Black and Bi-racial students in the district and provide sustainable solutions (which our organization can help provide).
  4. Present a plan that will re-establish trust within our communities and protect our current students and employees in the district.
  5. Work together to diversify the staff at SUHSD (with a primary focus on teaching, counseling, and administration) to repair the trauma and harm Black students have experienced in the district as evident with data on disproportionality of suspensions and expulsions of our student population.
  6. Build safe spaces, mentoring and support networks for current employees of color, in particular Black, Biracial, and Filipinos personnel who may have experienced trauma and harm within the district.
  7. Create a welcoming environment for all students, families, and staff, of ALL races (including White) in our Sweetwater community.

The mental health, wellness, inclusion, sense of belonging, and safety of our students, families, and staff is critical. The NAACP San Diego Branch strongly believes that we will work together to improve the outcomes of our youth and look forward to creating sustainable results with Sweetwater Union High School District.

Sincerely,

Francine Maxwell, President
NAACP San Diego Branch