Cavazos to retire at end of 2021

Doug Keeler
Taft Midway Driller
Taft Union Superintendent Blanca Cavazos at a board meeting in July 2020. She is planning to retire at the end of 2021.

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Taft Union High School District Supt. Blanca Cavazos is planning to retire at the end of the year.

Cavazos, who was hired in March 2013, is scheduled to formally make the announcement at Tuesday's meeting of the TUHSD Board of Trustees.

Cavazos was hired two months after an on-campus shooting that left one student critically injured and headed the district as it made major budget cuts five years later in the spring of 2018, cutting eight teaching positions and two sports

Her letter of resignation was included in the agenda packet for the meeting.

In it, she discussed her accomplishments as head of the district for the past eight years.

"Next month, I will have served the District for eight years. It has been my honor and privilege to serve as your superintendent, Cavazos wrote in her letter. "During my tenure, we were able to successfully negotiate a settlement that ended the legal and financial obligations to the Golden Empire Schools Financing Authority (GESFA) that otherwise would have been in place for the next 30 years. In collaboration with our bargaining units, we were able to successfully address a structural deficit and implement practices that will allow the District to remain financially stable for years to come. More importantly, we were able to implement and refine collaborative leadership structures that promote communication, continuous learning and professional growth among the groups that serve the students of TUHSD. These structures enabled us to successfully shift and adjust to the many changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, including the implementation of distance learning and in-person instruction, while meeting new health, safety and education guidelines. We accomplished this together."

Cavazos said she chose to retire "because the time is right."

Her last day of work will be Dec. 31.

She said she is expecting her first grandchild this summer and looks forward to have time for travel and other interests.

She also said she is planning to assist the district in finding her replacement.

"I look forward to assisting with a seamless transition for the new superintendent and being of service to you in any way, well beyond December 31, 2021," she said.