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I found out one more notable name who is taking the golden handshake to leave San Diego Unified — and this one made me do a double take. Glenn Hillegas, the former principal of one of the most successful schools-within-a-school at Kearny High, is leaving the school district with the deal. The weird part is that he has been working at the local chapter of the Associated General Contractors since last summer.

How did he get a golden handshake? Turns out he was on an unpaid leave of absence, which meant he was still an employee and still eligible for the bonus to leave the school district that he had already left. Hillegas said he wasn’t planning to come back, but someone higher up on the totem pole recommended that he go on leave instead of retiring, just in case he changed his mind about leaving the schools, because they were happy with his performance as a principal.

“I got lucky enough that this thing came up,” Hillegas said.

One reader asked about how much the employees are getting. The incentive is as much or more than a year of salary, paid out over five years, a decade or a lifetime. It can end up being more than a year of salary if an employee opts for the lifetime option — and then lives longer than the architects of the plan had bet they would. Exact amounts depend on the employees’ salaries. Look for more updates soon.


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