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Police investigate alcohol use by MUSD admins

Madera police responding to a report of possession of alcohol by Madera Unified employees has led to the departure of four administrators from their jobs with the district.

According to Madera Police Detective Sgt. Mark Trukki, officers responded on June 20 to a call from Cesar Chavez Elementary School regarding school employees in possession of alcohol. Trukki said an investigation is ongoing and a report would be forthcoming.

As a result, Omar Jeronimo, principal of Parkwood Elementary, submitted his resignation, effective June 21, and Kathleen Nekumanesh, principal of Sierra Vista Elementary, also submitted her resignation, effective June 21.

Vice principals Saul Gallegos of Sierra Vista and Ismael Munoz of Cesar Chavez submitted their resignations dated June 19.

MUSD officials had no comment other than to confirm the resignations, however, a district employee with knowledge of the incident said the four administrators met at Parkwood Elementary School and were consuming alcohol during their duty day.

Contracts for all Madera Unified principals and vice principals stipulate that June 20 was a duty day for them. Summer school was being conducted at Sierra Vista and Chavez Elementary on that day. Subsequent to their being discovered, the administrators were convinced to submit their resignations.

A check of school websites revealed that Nekumanesh and Gallegos had been removed from the Sierra Vista site after the incident.

A high-level district official emphasized that the alcohol consumption did not occur at Cesar Chavez School and that Chavez Principal Stephanie McPherson in no way participated in the incident. He also stated that the action by the now departed administrators was in violation of the law and district policy.

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