Merced City School District fires superintendent

The district will search for its fourth superintendent in the last few years.

Merced City School District is on the look for a new superintendent once again. 

Late Friday, the Merced City School District Board voted to oust Superintendent Diana Jimenez. 


The big picture: The Merced City School District Board held a special meeting last week specifically to terminate Jimenez, who had been on the job for less than a year. 

  • Board member Jessee Espinoza was absent from the meeting while the other four board members all voted to terminate Jimenez. 
  • The board named Associate Superintendent Brian Meisenheimer as the interim superintendent while the district searches for a permanent replacement. 

The backstory: Jimenez started as the superintendent in July 2022, joining the district from Winters Joint Unified School District. 

  • She replaced former superintendent Doug Collins, who departed the district to take over the top job at Chowchilla Elementary School District. 
  • Collins was only on the job for a single school year himself. He had replaced former superintendent Al Rogers, who had resigned in July 2021 in the wake of sexual harassment claims that were made against him.  

By the numbers: Jimenez was earning a $260,000 salary and was in line for a two percent raise annually. 

What they’re saying: Dora Crane, the principal of Givens Elementary School, addressed the board and said she has never not known what the vision is for the district in her 26 years with Merced City. She asked the board for better leadership and to have a true vision moving forward. 

  • “This is not how I wanted to end my career, because I am retiring,” Crane said. “I wanted to be more joyful, I didn’t want to be counting the days down with regret, because I feel like, gosh, we could’ve done so much more this year. I feel like emails go unanswered. Questions are never answered. Reaching out for help is, ‘Have you called another principal?’ Well why do I have all these people up here if I can’t call you for an answer? There is no built in relationship anymore.”
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