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Former School Director Awarded $1 Million in Wrongful Termination Lawsuit

by John Gomez | Last Updated: August 26, 2010

Wednesday, August 25, 2010 at 2:02 p.m.

The former administrator of a closed Vista charter school has been awarded $1 million for wrongful termination and other damages by a jury.

Richard Alderson, the school’s executive director, brought a lawsuit against Eagles Peak Charter School after being fired in 2008.  Alderson claimed he was dismissed for refusing to retaliate against employees who criticized the Eagles Peak Board.

“I feel like I was exonerated,” Alderson said. “I’ve had a pretty long career in education without a blemish on it, and I’m glad the jury saw I did nothing wrong. The ultimate losers, unfortunately, were the parents and children of the school.”

The jury made its decision last week.

Eagles Peak was once the largest school in the Julian Union Elementary School District, serving roughly 4,000 students.  In 2007 the school was split into two schools following internal disagreements between administrators. The school closed in 2009 following the district’s decision not to renew the charter.

Former board president Danielle Hooper has not commented on the ruling.

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