Sound off on school board

It’s been a while since I’ve posted an education blog, so here’s a two-fer.

One of the more interesting things to come out of the Hayward school trustees’ appointment of Sergio Saenz, a higher education student outreach specialist, on Thursday evening was the issue of the board’s physical makeup.

Trustees were torn over two candidates, Saenz and Lisa Glover-Gardin, to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of Myrna Truehill. Board president Grant Peterson made it a point that he preferred Glover-Gardin, an African-American woman, because it would balance out a board made up of three white men and one Latin woman.

How important is the physical makeup of a governing board, especially when it comes to representing such a diverse community as Hayward? With four of the five seats up for election next year, will gender/ethnicity play a role in how you will vote? Lastly, for this topic anyway, what are your thoughts on the appointment itself?

During the candidate interviews, trustees asked: What are some of the main issues facing the district today?

Communication/public relations, low morale, declining enrollment and student achievement were a few of the issues repeatedly brought up by candidates. I’m unsure where I’m going with this, but I’d like to know what is the main issue you feel is plaguing Hayward schools (yes, we know about the Web site) and what should be done to alleviate the problem? Maybe we’ll log all your comments and ask school officials and trustees to answer them before the upcoming school year.


  • jeanne

    The main problem with the HUSD is the administration. Since the board rubber stamps whatever any administration asks for, the administration becomes the issue.

    When was the last time the leadership of this district was people who had a personal, economic or emotional investment in this community. Are the local universities and districts all so incompetent that we can’t find any home grown leadership? I don’t believe it for a minute. This area has a sterling reputation in many academic and intellectual fields. Let’s try to ‘buy local’ next time and see if someone home grown won’t have a different motivation than the revolving door of carpetbaggers we’ve had recently.

  • J. W. Kyle

    Hang on Kris, the barn door is open and the bulls, stalions and beasties of the night are coming out on this one. Oddly, I’ve about finished a writing but will not relaese it until after my review of the ‘new’ or ‘updated’ web page!

  • J. W. Kyle

    7: 53 pm ??/ mine says 8:56 pm on July 30,…. let us hope ANG re-organization is not behind schedule !

  • J. W. Kyle

    Well !

    Golly and gee whiz !

    After reading Jranne’s thought one wonders why all the local ‘talent’ did not apply for the job after Kohl was dismissed.

    Perhaps Mr. Noceda will have my e-nail message dated August 1, into this column for the edification of Jeanne and those like her who refuse to disclose their full identity while engaged in use of words such as ‘rubber stamp’ or ‘carpetbaggers’.

    Has Jeanne attended meetings to engage in comment upon items appearing on the agenda, when trustees are able to comment upon hearing the gripes are legitimate?

    Come on folks,

  • J. W. Kyle

    If Jeanne the teacher wishes to learn something beyond her suspicions, let her send me a message advising an e-mail address through a nuetral party to which I will send copy of my lengthy E-NAIL ADDRESSING HER PRECISE FEELING OF HELPLESSNESS.



  • J. W. Kyle

    Well, no word from teacher Jeanne in response to my offer involving a lengthy E-Nail.

    I guess she is busy with a lengthy commute to remote residence ?

  • monica

    I agree with Jeanne. As a graduate from Mt. Eden and a parent of two sons that have graduated from Hayward schools my issue with the school district is “trust.” I don’t trust the board or the adminstration. I don’t agree with the majority of their decisions especially adminstration raises, school closures, …

  • Craig

    Dear J. W.,

    First of all, the “local talent” did apply, but was rejected in favor of Dr. Vigil. I will let his record speak for itself. The particular “local talent” that I’m referring to had over thirty years of experience in Hayward, overseeing one of the most successful schools in the district. Secondly, Hayward teachers did actively work to change the district. In fact, I sacrificed over a thousand dollars of wages in order to communicate my dissatisfaction with the leadership decisions of the board. What have you sacrificed for the cause of education in Hayward?

    P.S. The e-mail address is exgrunt@yahoo.com. Please, “educate” me.

  • J. W. Kyle

    The paper which I wrote has been dis-patched to Craig, who in an honest desire to read / listen was honest enough to make inquiry.

    Are there any others who would like to see and understand what this ‘dust up’ will bring?

    Post your e-mail here or send it to me at jwkyle6@comcast.net

  • Fernando Hernandez

    Mr. Kyle:

    Cut Teacher Jeanne so slack,

    Don’t read so much into her silence. For all we know she could be gone on vacation…or she has a life that doesn’t revolve entirely around sitting at the computer chatting with old geezers! (Note that this is your own description of yourself, from a different line of communications and I mean no offense!)

    I’m not sure what the point is of asking wheater or not she has attended the meetings when the board can actually respond. As a retired person you can afford the time to attend these meetings.

    Some of us are not so fortunate as we have jobs and/or take care of our children and simply don’t have the time. As much as possible some of us see the meetings that are boradcast, but those meetings give us no insight into the kinds of deliverations that go on because there are none! Thus the impression from many in the community that the board “rubber stamps” all of Vigil & Co. ‘s recommendations.

    As someone that has critisized the trustee’s “inability” to respond during the board meetings, I know that I myself would attend some of these other meetings if my other obligations didn’t get on the way! (By the way, you never did answer me: Did we ever have a board that would actually respond back to members of the community during the general meetings, like some other places have?)

    Local talent indeed applied for the position. My understanding is that Frank Goulart, who I believe was principal of Tennyson HS? applied for the post, and the trustees decided to import Vigil.

    I can tell you this much, I know Mr. Goulart, as we both belonged to our local neighborhood association, and he would have been great, in part because he holds the respect of every teacher in Hayward I have spoken with about him.

    But going back to the board, I don’t really think that race or cultural background are all that important, and this comming from a minority!
    I think what is in their heads is more important than what they look like or where they come, from so long as they are invested in this community.

    I don’t know Mr. Saenz, but I was a little disappointed that he stated in an interview with the newspaper that he didn’t know if he was going to run for the board when election time comes around! I certainly hope anyone who applied was willing to run for reelection. Otherwise, where is the commitment?

    You state in you e-mails that Mr. Noceda has not posted a lengthy writing of yours. That peeks my interest, considering some of the stuff that did get posted during the strike…

    Please do send me a copy, to the following address, and if you don’t hear from me for a while, I’m going camping tomorrow!


  • Thank you Fernando !

    This old geezer has sent you the requested reading material plus another.

    Now, go out and teach all parents and neighbprs l

    Is there anyone else willing to supply an E=mail address and desirous of new thought

    provided in the splendor of detail ?

  • Ya darling people ya,,,,,,, have had a bit of action today in forwarding my lenghty scribble on two subjects of differing nature but involving HUSD.

    I do not mind the effort just so long as you pass the information along to friends and oity er interested voters..

    It should help your undetrstanding of how things must work here in HUSD as it does so
    well with the City.

  • San Leandro schools are even worse. Read all about it on http://www.frankforsanleandro.com...

  • Employee

    I really wonder who is actually running this district. The Supt. or the Director of Fiscal Services

  • Dear wondering employee…..

    Perhaps the sol;ution to your dilemma lays in understanding the role of stakeholders, ( tax payers) in working with the rules of procedure applicabkle to HUSD by imposition of Ed. Code and the Ralph M. Brown Act.

    It requires diligence and effort on part of all who are truly interested in successful education.

    Learning the ropes requires calm comportmant at HUSD meetings; it requires understanding of procedures involving the appropriate moment for ‘public comments’

    It requires that ‘Public comments’ which do not address specific agenda items are permissible under the first public comment period and that there is opportunioty to use ‘public comments’ when specific agenda items are a matter of interest to folks such as your self.

    One of the present handicaps is the lack of a staff report attendent to agenda published on inter website. At this moment you can pick up a ‘paper’ copy of staff reports in the old fashioned style of going to district officed and asking for it. if enough of us squawk, then the staff reports will eventuate to publication on the website, just as has been the habit at Hayward Council website where you can see re-broadcast at your leisure for evry meeting in the last 10 years; where the agenda, staff reports and vote record is available in easy to reach archive form and old watch dogs can pin down arguments about who said what and when.

    So, First piece of advice…. organize yourself to seek answers with due diligenced applicable to the idea that HUSD Trustees ahve a long row to hoe in learning how to communicate.

    By investing time in reading the staff reports you discover that you know about as much aas the Trusttees do…; that is the moment, on the agenda when trustees ask questions; Yiu then have a shot at asking trusttess what they reaklly know. Be aware that the California Ralphg M. Brown act forbids discussion of any subject not on the agenda. They are legally obliged not to speak on non-agenda items.

    If you stay alert and ask questions at the appropriate momen you unravel that which presetly seems to mystify….. because the gentlemen with whom you seem to differ
    is on the spot for answers to questions from the trustees.

    If the trusttes play ignorant…. then find someone else to vote for at next election.

    If you wartched Mr Sergio Saenz at meeting of August 22nd, then my friend learn that the
    public is being well served by that appointment……..He is alert and very sharp.

    Keep tuned in….. learn to play the game !

  • concerned citizen

    Piggy-back contracting and nepitism- To the citizens and taxpayers of Hayward, be a watchdog on what is going on.

  • another tired teacher

    As a Hayward teacher and ex neighboring district teacher I can say that HUSD is deplorable in offering professional development of any kind to its teachers. I believe that they receive funding for this from the State. What are they spending it on? They seem to be spending a lot of money on very ill prepared literacy coaches, and highly paid administrators. Why do we need them when we have a scripted reading program anyway? Now, all of their well trained English Language Development Specialists are becoming administrators. This is good on the one hand I guess, as schools now have well informed administrators but who is left to do ELD professional development for teachers, and when is the district going to offer decent professional development on English Language Development for all teachers?

    Also, when are the district and school sites going to really encourage and welcome parent participation? Site and district administrators only “use” parents when it’s convenient. No wonder so many families are leaving.

  • elem. teacher

    I love my math coach. She has been at my school for a few years, she is great. She has recieved lots of training, and has a masters degree in math. I learn lots and lots from her everytime I see her. She has changed my teaching of every subject for the better.

    What I do not understand is this, many coaches were hired this year for both reading and math, only my coach and one other new reading coach attended the Coaches Institute put on by S.V.M.I. (Silicone Vally Math Initiative) I realize that this insitute is technically for math, but having attended it for two years now it would help anyones teaching and coaching of math or reading.

    I think the district is making a huge mistake by not training the coaches before they start being a coach.

    I was a summer school math coach, it was hard, I know I made some mistakes, and I learned a lot. I was so thankful that I attended the coaches institute the previous year, and I had my math coach to lean on. However, I could not be a math coach this year, I am not ready.

    I wish all the new coaches luck, and I will help my new reading coach any way she needs. I hope other teachers have patience with her, and the other new coaches, and understand she has not training, other than a few days.

  • Kary Loredo-Welch

    Thank you Kris for your post… I was lost in other things and did not read it until today. I was following the other post regarding the issues regarding racism in the schools because well frankly my husband made sure that I read it when he posted it. I was disheartened to see that it was REMOVED due to threats of liable from Eldridge school… sad that even ‘free speech’ is not being dictated by the ‘powers that be’.

    Anyway… in your posting you said “Grant Peterson made it a point that he preferred Glover-Gardin, an African-American woman, because it would balance out a board made up of three white men and one Latin woman.”

    That was very well said and honestly I wish I had a recording of the actual words because I remember it more like… “well we have three white old guys… ummm… let’s get some… ummm… color” but I could be wrong. Either way it was extremely offensive and absolutely disrespectful to both Mr. Seanz and Ms. Glover-Gardin. Both of them showed extreme poise and understanding of the position and both of them deserved the seat based on their experience, education and professionalism. NOT because of their coloring.

    FYI, I had also applied for the position at the school board. I was pretty certain I wouldn’t get it however I am the kind of person that walks my talk. During the strike I stepped up to the plate along with others to say ‘enough is enough’ to both sides of the table. When this came along I knew that I needed to throw my hat into the ring to be ‘willing’ to do the hard thing.

    We have a long way to go before elections next year. We have 4 seats open and we need to fill them with people invested in the community. People that will not become “rubber-stampers” and people that will work towards building the community’s respect, not continue lying to them.

    There were some wonderful applicants this time around, I sure hope to see them come back for next years election and would like to see more of the community be willing to step up to the plate and do the hard thing. It’s not about money, power or attention. It is about being willing to devote time and energy into something that you believe in.