Principal Search 2009

As promised, here’s the list of Oakland schools that will have new principals in the fall — well, as of now — that I requested from the district office, along with a personnel report from mid-May that has some more information. Please feel free to fill in the gaps.

Crocker Highlands (Beth Rhine)
Joaquin Miller
Martin Luther King
New Maxwell Park
Redwood Heights (Sara Stone)

Claremont (Pending Board Approval)
Edna Brewer (Sam Pasarow)
United For Success (Pending Board Approval)

LIFE Academy
Oakland High

Katy Murphy

Education reporter for the Oakland Tribune. Contact me at kmurphy@bayareanewsgroup.com.

  • A Life Time Educator

    Katy, how many of these new principals are people of color?

  • Nextset

    Katy: Are there stats on the racial breakdown of OUSD teachers & management? How about info as to the racial breakdown of applicants..

    I wonder if the districts such as OUSD which are minority dominated have the same ratio of applicants as districts that are not (ie Piedmont).

    Does anyone know the current stats on the CBEST test pass rates by race, and if there is still federal litigation to throw the CBEST out as being racially biased?

  • Katy Murphy

    A district I used to cover provided stats on the race/ethnicity of management and staff. I’d be surprised if OUSD didn’t have this information as well.

    A Life Time Educator: I don’t know much yet about the three newly hired principals, their races included. But it sounds like you might already know the answer. Are they all white?

  • Nextset

    Katy: A thought on the above issues, I curious about trends in occupations where people are being “born” into occupations rather than being more mobile. I’d be curious if the incoming applicants are homogenous or becoming more so. For example, public defenders I see lately tend to be a certain ethnic with a certain outlook on life from a certain background. This differs sharply from another legal specialty. Same in medicine where the Internists and the Surgeons seem to be different nowadays.

  • http://perimeterprimate.blogspot.com Sharon

    This community needs to be aware of a principal training program called New Leaders for New Schools, a program in the Bay Area and a few other major cities.

    It was conceived by five Harvard business and education graduate students in 2000. Corporate ed-reformer billionaire Eli Broad paid for its start-up and first year implementation, and has been a major contributor ever since. Broad gave $1,056,000 in 2001, $1,218,000 in 2002, $2,250,000 in 2003, $2,000,000 in 2004, $720,000 in 2005, $375,000 in 2006, and $375,000 in 2007. (990’s)

    I understand that half of the curriculum is designed by NLNS, and the other half is from the administrative training program at Cal State East Bay. NLNS has a unique vision for the management of public education. http://www.nlns.org/AboutUs.jsp

    Applicants are enticed into the program because they receive a salary (paid for by OUSD and NLNS) while they undergo their training. Academic programs like the one at UCB and other universities can’t offer this benefit, and lose candidates because they are unable to compete in this way. Of course, this benefit is underwritten by the philanthropic funding which NLNS receives. This gives them the competitive edge.

    The overwhelming destination for those who have graduated from the NLNS Bay Area training program is OUSD, both charters and non-charters.

    NLNS has made it possible for Broad’s to get his ideas implemented in Oakland from both without and within — without, by way of his connection to Jack O’Connell who turned OUSD over to Broad-trained superintendents, and from within, by a set of principals who he has overseen the trained of, and who undoubtedly have been given automatic preference (over principals trained by other programs) and access to leadership positions in the schools by the Broad-trained superintendents.

    Eli Broad is an accountant by training, and a businessman by experience. He has had no experience or training in the field of public education, or in the specialized management of schools.

    I would be interested in finding out how these “new leaders” are different from other principals in OUSD.

  • cranky teacher

    Wow, Oakland High and YES are both getting new principals? I thought those had strong leaders already. Just goes to show what a rough job that is.

  • AC Mom

    There was a recent article in the NY Times about a similar program in NYC. Click here http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/26/nyregion/26principals.html?scp=1&sq=new%20leaders%20%20principals&st=cse

  • harlemmoon

    Count on Tony Smith to bring a few principal candidates with him from SFUSD. Which, frankly, isn’t a bad idea – color notwithstanding.

  • aly

    Sam Pasarow is a New Leader; unsure about the others.

  • Oakland Teacher

    I work at a school with a New Leader Principal. I can’t speak to the program itself, but the principal is the most extraordinary one I have ever worked with.

  • http://perimeterprimate.blogspot.com Sharon

    The NLNS Bay Area Community Newsletter, Winter 2008, lists the 45 individuals who have completed the program in a section called “Where Are New Leaders Leading Schools?”

    At OUSD Traditional and Small Schools (32):
    • Adrian Kirk – Oakland Unified School District
    • Gia Truong – Oakland Unified School District
    • Vanessa Flynn – Oakland Unified School District
    • Katherine Carter – Manzanita SEED
    • Kimi Kean – ACORN Woodland
    • Danielle Neves – Sankofa Academy
    • Sondra Aguilera – Esperanza Academy
    • Liz Ozol – New Highland Academy
    • Yvette Renteria – Alliance Academy
    • Eyana Spencer – Manzanita Community
    • Brandee Stewart – Roots International
    • Monica Thomas – Greenleaf Elementary
    • Doran Caitlin – Think College Now
    • Ivory Brooks – Cole Middle School
    • Karen Monroe- International Community School
    • Laura Robell – Elmhurst Community Prep
    • Sam Pasarow – Community Day High School
    • Terry Edwards – Fruitvale Elementary
    • Susan Ryan – Castlemont Business and Information Technology School (CBITS)
    • Adam Taylor – Brookfield Elementary
    • Connie Tillman – RISE Elementary
    • Elia Bustamante – Edna Brewer Middle School
    • John Melvin – Lincoln Elementary
    • Julie Dana – EXCEL Prep High School
    • Lauren Klaffky – Oakland High School
    • Mark Triplett – Urban Promise Academy
    • Zarina Ahmad – Piedmont Academy Oakland, CA [no such school exists here]
    • Elizabeth Rhine – Encompass Academy
    • Faith Anderson – Westlake Middle School
    • Kenya Crockett – Mandela High School
    • Paulette Smith – Howard Elementary
    • Yanira Canizales – Melrose Leadership Academy

    At OUSD Charter Schools (10)
    • Melissa Barnes-Dholakia – Lighthouse Community Charter School
    • Cameron Stephenson – KIPP Bridge College Prep
    • Tatiana Epanchin – Monarch Academy
    • Kate Mellin – Civicorps Elementary Charter
    • Adam Brown – KIPP Bridge College Prep
    • Thomas Kadelbach – Lionel Wilson College Prep
    • Jennifer Garcia – Lighthouse Community Charter
    • Carla Henderson – Monarch Academy
    • Jennifer Kuh – Millsmont Academy
    • Michele Sutton – KIPP Bridge College Prep

    Plus 13 others who are at schools (primarily charter) in other cities (Stockton, Sacramento, San Lorenzo, etc.)

    Oakland Teacher: What are the qualities that make your principal “extraordinary” from your perspective? Are you at a elementary or secondary school?

  • oak261

    Nextset: Curious about the trends you’re alluding to. You said “…public defenders I see lately tend to be a certain ethnic with a certain outlook on life from a certain background. This differs sharply from another legal specialty. Same in medicine where the Internists and the Surgeons seem to be different nowadays…” Would you elaborate?

  • Nextset

    Oak261: Let me think about that one some more. What I’m saying is that I’m noticing what could be described as steering or sorting going on.

  • Sara

    Do you know if the principal of Claremont was let go because of the awful scores at that school year after year or did he leave on his own accord? Maybe the school will turn around and neighborhood kids can start going there again. Also, Zarina Ahmad is at Piedmont Ave Elementary, it’s not Piedmont Academy.

  • Another Oakand Teacher

    Kranky Teacher:

    I can’t speak to YES, but Oakland High did not have a strong leader as principal.

  • oak261

    Nextset: Ok. I’m not trying to bait you. Often you make interesting points and observations. But having some familiarity with people in all those professions, I am still missing the point you’re making this time…

  • oak261

    it appears from google searches that CBEST tests are still in use, having survived some court challenges.

  • OakSupporter


    Please keep us posted on the new principals who are chosen, particularly for the high schools.

  • Skyline Teacher

    Edna Brewer folks better batten down the hatches.

    Pasarow was sent here as a principal on special assignment and made enemies with nearly the entire school within weeks. He was loudly booed by the senior class at graduation and earned the nickname “The Evildoer” from some wily vets appalled by his youthful arrogance.

    His personal and management style are rough and rougher.

    Of course, some of the younger teachers found his ruthlessness refreshing, even honorable. And he has some powerful backers within the district.

    Not sure how much he represents NLNS, but approach seems in sync.