Castaic school board to discuss leadership change Thursday 

Castaic Union School District Building. Dan Watson/The Signal

Former Castaic Union School District Superintendent Steve Doyle, whose resignation was announced by the district Friday afternoon, “will remain in paid status” until June 30, according to a statement Wednesday from CUSD President John Richard. 

A statement issued by the district at 3:30 p.m. Friday indicated “Superintendent Mr. Steve Doyle will be on leave for the remainder of the school year,” declining to state a reason. An announcement of the resignation indicated longtime Castaic Middle School Principal Bob Brauneisen now is serving as acting superintendent of the 2,037-student K-8 district. 

Richard, who initially spoke with The Signal when first contacted Friday, declined to be interviewed to answer follow-up questions this week ahead of Thursday’s meeting, when he said the board was planning to discuss the situation.  

The board president only agreed to answer questions by email. 

“We will talk about this more at the board meeting (Thursday night) and you are more than welcome to come,” Richard wrote in an email Wednesday morning in which he answered several questions but declined to share any additional information surrounding the circumstances of Doyle’s departure. 

An email to a previously listed email address for Doyle did not garner an immediate response Wednesday. 

“The board of trustees is most grateful to our teachers, staff and administrators for their continued commitment and devotion to student learning and well-being,” according to the statement issued along with Friday’s announcement. “Castaic Union School District will have a strong finish to the 2022-2023 school year because of their dedication to our students.” 

In an email, Richard referred a question about the reason and timing of the resignation to a letter penned by Doyle, dated April 14. 

Doyle’s letter noted he is proud of his accomplishments with the district over the last seven-plus years, which “transformed the organization into one highly respected and on the cutting edge of educational practices … while recovering from fiscal insolvency.” 

The letter did not indicate a reason for the sudden departure or whether Doyle would be employed elsewhere following his absence. 

“Furthermore, we are grateful for Mr. Doyle’s service and hard work,” Richard wrote in an email. “As with all of our employees, respect his professional reputation and his right to privacy. We will not be providing additional information about his decision.” 

The agenda for Thursday’s meeting indicates that Brauneisen is scheduled to be named as the signatory to the district’s accounts, in addition to other official duties for the office. 

The Castaic district announced the hiring of Doyle from the Keppel Union School District in December 2015. Data available on indicated his total compensation package for the most recent year available, 2020, was $239,896.66, including benefits. 

Doyle replaced current board member Janene Maxon, who was promoted from assistant superintendent to interim superintendent in 2015. 

Maxon was named to the top spot temporarily following a board vote that put the previous superintendent, James Gibson, on paid, nondisciplinary administrative leave in May 2015. 

The move was in response to the district learning it faced a $4.1 million shortfall for the next fiscal year, which resulted in more than 40 layoffs of teachers and classified staff, according to media reports at the time. 

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