Maricopa Unified School District Superintendent Steve Chestnut’s early departure was approved Wednesday. His last day on the job will be March 9.
The MUSD Governing Board met in a brief executive session with its attorney March 7 to discuss changes in Chestnut’s contract, which would have ended July 1. The board also approved Chestnut’s $5,000 performance pay as required by law.
Chestnut requested he be released form his contract in early March to begin work at his new post. Scottsdale Unified School District hired Chestnut as its associate superintendent last month amid upheaval at that district’s highest level.
His first day at SUSD will be March 12.
Chestnut has worked for MUSD since 2012. In recent years, Chestnut was named a finalist in larger districts’ job searches but stayed on with MUSD after the interviews didn’t produce contract offers.
MUSD’s decision last year to extend Chestnut’s contract only through July prompted a superintendent search that began in January.
The Board is expected to interview six candidates March 13-14. The finalist will be announced March 26.
During the brief vacancy, around 15 of Chestnut’s “broad range” responsibilities will be split between administration cabinet members, said MUSD Human Resources Director Tom Beckett.
Beckett will also coordinate the Board’s meeting agendas. The board meets again March 28.