Debora Rinehart was sure she’d hear a pack of lies about parent involvement when she showed up to last night’s Joaquin Miller/Montera principal selection meeting.
But she left so optimistic about the interview process — which includes a panel of parents from each school who roughly reflect its demographics — she was inspired to write a letter to the Tribune. (“I could be wrong,” she stipulated to me over the phone.)
I’m very interested in leadership issues as well as parent involvement. So, being the nosy reporter I am, I’m angling to sit in on the upcoming audition at one of the schools. We’ll see how that goes over.
If you attended last night’s meeting — or another one elsewhere in the district — please share your experiences and your hopes for a new principal.
Here is Debora’s letter, which will probably appear in the paper in the near future:
Transparency in Principal Section
We got the letter in the mail during the Fourth of July holiday. Our principal at Joaquin Miller School had retired effective July 1, 2007. In the ensuing discussions with friends, neighbors and colleagues, it was discovered that the principal and the Administrative Assistant of Montera Middle had also retired at the end of the school year.
We all know that the State runs nearly every aspect of the Oakland Unified School District. There was to be a meeting, first at Joaquin Miller School, then changed to Montera Middle School to accommodate more parents. We walked in jaded, “knowing” the district was going to assign the “right” principal to our school – and to Montera, for that matter.
I was wrong. What we found is that there will be representation from the teachers and the parents in the process. The process will be open – dare I say, transparent. The parents will be representative of the schools, African American, Asian, Hispanic and White, parents and teachers of GATE kids, Special Education kids and the students who show up every day and do their best work and those who are not working up to their potential. In the end, we will choose a principal who will lead our school, and our students toward success and atmosphere of learning and acceptance. Last night we walked out of the Principal Selection Meeting with renewed hope for transparency, for a great future leader of our school and for a school district that’s on the right track.