Former Cabrillo High School Principal Jeff Wagonseller, who resigned this summer after spending most of the 2017-18 school year on administrative leave, will be allowed to keep his teaching credential after the California Attorney General’s Office declined to seek prosecution against him.
Wagonseller provided a copy of a letter from the state’s Commission on Teacher Credentialing notifying him of the closure of his case to the Lompoc Unified School District board of education this month, along with a personal letter in which he thanked Lompoc community members for supporting him and stated his intention to continue his career as a school administrator elsewhere.
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Neither Wagonseller nor any LUSD official has publicly revealed the nature of the allegations against Wagonseller that prompted the investigation and led to his placement on administrative leave in September 2017. Wagonseller had been principal at Cabrillo High since the 2014-15 school year.
In Wagonseller’s letter to the LUSD board, which was read aloud by board member Bill Heath during the board’s Sept. 11 meeting, the former principal wrote that he “always believed in the process that the state went through looking at my credentials.”
“The state process was thorough, professional and legally viewed by many,” he wrote. “The California Attorney General’s office recently made their opinion public by agreeing I should have (a) clear and professional credential. A short time after the announcement I received a letter postmarked from Sacramento that said I should be aware that some of the information sent to them was fictitious and suspiciously misleading.”
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Wagonseller did not provide a copy of that latter letter that he mentioned. In his own letter, however, he went on to address some of the comments and assumptions that were made about him during his time on leave.
“Throughout the process, I have learned how I can’t control what people want to write or even what people want to stand up and say when they have no idea what they are talking about,” he wrote. “I can only control who I am as a person, dad and educator.”
The letter that Wagonseller provided from the Commission on Teacher Credentialing was just two sentences long. The letter, which was dated July 26, 2018, stated: “The purpose of this letter is to inform you that the Office of the Attorney General has declined prosecution in your case. Accordingly, please be advised that the matter has now been closed.”
The letter was signed by Katie Hampton, staff counsel for the commission’s Division of Professional Practices.
Wagonseller concluded his letter by noting that he only submitted his resignation this past March “after I was informed that I was not being offered my principal position and was being placed back into a classroom; I still look forward to continuing as an educational administrator in the future.”
Wagonseller’s resignation became effective June 30.
Many in the Cabrillo community were shocked upon learning of Wagonseller’s placement on leave last fall.
Staff members at the school were reportedly surprised by the sudden announcement, and about 150 Cabrillo students staged a walkout just a couple weeks after the move in an effort to show their support for the principal.
Isidro Carrasco was hired this spring to succeed Wagonseller as principal at Cabrillo High.