Atascadero superintendent retiring

June 2, 2015

atascadero_sign_photoThe superintendent of the Atascadero Unified School District is retiring this month after four years on the job. [Tribune]

Deborah Bowers will retire on June 30. As superintendent, she oversees the education of more than 4,700 students and the operation of eight elementary schools, one junior high, two high schools and two alternative schools.

Tom Butler, Lucia Mar’s assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, is slated to replace Bowers. The Atascadero school board is scheduled to approve Butler’s hiring at a June 9 meeting.

The board hired Bowers in 2011 at a salary of $141,135. She previously held the superintendent position at the Templeton school district.

Last year, Bowers proposed a $58 million bond initiative to raise funds for upgrades at 10 schools. Voters approved the initiative in November.

Four years prior, voters passed a $117 million initiative for improvement of school facilities. Bowers said the 2014 bond measure was needed to complete the projects initially funded by the 2010 initiative.

If Butler replaces Bowers, Lucia Mar will have multiple vacancies to fill in its administration. Lucia Mar Superintendent Jim Hogeboom is currently departing to become the head of a Marin County school district.

Atascadero High School Principal is slated to replace Bowers as assistant superintendent.

Earlier this year, Lucia Mar narrowly avoided a strike after the teachers’ union clashed with administrators for months over pay raises for its members.



  1. Mitch C says:

    Why not just consolidate. Does a county our size really need 11 school districts? With a 11 districts we have, 11 payroll systems, 11 of this and 11 of that. If all school districts were consolidated the size and scope of the unified SLO school district would be smaller than many districts in the state (LA, SF, San Jose, etc) and the saved money not spent on growing administration could be directed to the classroom.

    (4) 4 Total Votes - 4 up - 0 down
  2. OnTheOtherHand says:

    This sounds like a good opportunity for Lucia Mar to cut administrative costs. Maybe they could promote from within and then not replace the position being vacated.

    (4) 4 Total Votes - 4 up - 0 down
  3. inmyopinion says:

    Ahhhhh Bubye Bowers – No love lost here. JMO

    (9) 13 Total Votes - 11 up - 2 down
  4. r0y says:

    So, we’re paying her $141K / year to spend over $37K per student in the last four years in bond initiatives? Why do we pay people so much to spend money that is not theirs? It’s like it is a difficult thing or something.

    Maybe it is, as the original fleecing in 2010 was $117,000,000 and a short 3-4 years later, they find out they missed the mark by only 49.57% and thus need an additional $58,000,000. Maybe we should give her some sort of $100K per year for the rest of her life for having such a tough job…

    (6) 22 Total Votes - 14 up - 8 down

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