I’m still trying to get a list of all the employees who took the golden handshake to leave San Diego Unified schools, but some big names are already cropping up.

Nearly 32 percent of eligible managers decided to take the bonus, a total of 103 employees, and a preliminary analysis shows that the school district may not replace as many as 23 of those workers. That exodus of high-ranking veteran employees could cause a brain drain in the school district, and the last time this happened, San Diego Unified actually rehired many of the same employees as consultants to help cover the gaps.

Here are the names I’ve heard and confirmed so far:

  • Testing and data guru Karen Bachofer, who oversees the research and evaluation division. “It’s a bittersweet moment,” Bachofer told me last week. “I love my work and it’s a fabulous division. But it’s time. It was a good offer and I’m nearing retirement age anyway.”
  • School Improvement Officer Donna Campbell. Chief High School Improvement Officer Nellie Meyer confirmed today that Campbell is leaving. The school improvement officer positions are a hallmark of the superintendency of Terry Grier, who replaced a smaller group of “area superintendents” with the new chiefs last year, to the consternation of the teachers union. She used to be the principal of Scripps Ranch High School. Meyer also said that contrary to a rumor I’d heard, she herself is not leaving San Diego Unified, though her position has been eliminated in a reorganization of the district.

Know of anyone else in the top ranks who is taking off, with or without the golden handshake? Please e-mail me at emily.alpert@voiceofsandiego.org.


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