La Joya superintendent receives $300,000 severance deal

La Joya schools Superintendent Alda Benavides signed a non-disclosure agreement with the district and will receive severance pay of more than $300,000 with regard to her voluntary resignation on Feb 25.

“Notwithstanding anything to the contrary herein, the district, the board, individually and collectively, and Benavides expressly covenant and agree not to make disparaging remarks about the other party, their agents, representatives, attorneys or assigns to this agreement,” according to the separation agreement obtained by The Monitor.

Her tenure as superintendent effectively ends at 11:59 p.m. on June 30, or the “retirement date,” according to the separation agreement. She agreed to be reassigned to training assistant to the interim superintendent until the end of June.

Benavides’ current contract as superintendent began on Jan. 13, 2016, with terms for the contract expiring on Aug. 31, 2021. She has served as superintendent since 2006, according to the school district website.

She will continue to be paid her salary and benefits as stated in her contract through June 30. The district will make a severance payment to Benavides of $319,069.06, no later than 10 calendar days following her last day, the agreement stated. The district will also pay Benavides for her 105 “earned but unused” leave and vacation days.

These payments will be made to Benavides and the Adams, Lynch and Loftin, P.C law firm.

Benavides and the district agree that her departure was not any result of any wrongdoing or harmful action that occurred.

School district attorney Jerry Muñoz did not comment for this story but instead issued a joint statement that highlighted her accomplishments.

“During her tenure in the school district, Dr. Benavides has admirably provided her leadership to the district under increasingly difficult economic circumstances while maintaining qualified staff and quality instructional programs and initiatives,” Armin Garza, board president, stated in a letter.

The Progress Times was first to report Benavides’ retirement.