As mentioned in the comment string, Dale Vigil is in the running for a job as superintendent of the San Diego school district. From the story:
If San Diego Unified is turbulent, Hayward Unified is even more so.
Dale Vigil led the midsized district south of Oakland when it weathered a bitter teachers strike over the size of teacher raises. It lasted more than a week, and Vigil was lambasted by teachers for taking a vacation in the middle of it.
Vigil talks about “distributive leadership,” the idea that everyone should share in decisions. He was quick to distinguish it from mere delegating. But to Hayward Unified employees like Jeff Bellaire, who leads a union of school office employees, Vigil delegated too much and wasn’t involved in the district.
Test scores bobbled under Vigil’s watch. Budget problems have persisted after he left, spurring talk of a state takeover. Hayward residents are split on whether or not Vigil was to blame.
“God could come down and wasn’t going to get improvement,” said Brian Schott, interim president and CEO of the Hayward Chamber of Commerce. “It was an unfair challenge to work with.”
Vigil agreed to leave Hayward schools last December under a buyout agreement with the school board — the second in his career after the Santa Rosa schools did the same a decade ago. He said simply that school boards change and often want “their own superintendent.”
As an educator, he is strongly focused on English learners and passionate about engaging parents in schools. He put that same emphasis on parent and community involvement in Hayward.
“You want their fingers on your chest … demanding the best education for their children,” Vigil said at a Thursday forum. “When you invite them in, give them a meaningful role, they will participate.”
Ed Mullins, a Hayward business operator who met him in a group that brings together community leaders with educators, said Vigil was open and easy to reach. He was widely credited with nudging voters to approve new money for school buildings, a rarity for Hayward.
Vigil is also familiar with San Diego, where he worked as an area superintendent a dozen years ago, and calls it un paraiso — a paradise. He earned praise here for being a collaborative leader.
Monroe Clark Middle School Principal Tom Liberto was a vice principal under his supervision and called him “a role model for me, the kind of leader I wanted to be.”
Vigil left Hayward after an announcement in December that he was retiring.
Since then, one of his key staffers, Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Barry Schimmel, did not have his contract re-upped by the board. I talked to Schimmel about it and he said that while that can be par for the course when there’s a change at the top, he has a feeling that his doom-and-gloom budget reports may not have been particularly enamoring.
From our Jan. 7 story:
Hayward, which also had a fiscal crisis in 2003, is on shaky ground for the current school year: a $2.8 million deficit that will climb to $12.7 million for 2010-11 if nothing is done.
Barry Schimmel, Hayward’s assistant superintendent of business services, recommended that the district submit a “negative” fiscal progress report, which would mean the return of a county-appointed fiscal adviser with veto power over spending. Trustees instead looked to other funds to patch the problem.
“It’s one thing if the county comes back and says we are negative, ” trustee Sarah Gonzales said. “But we’ve been doing the best we can with what we got.”
These days, things are looking much worse. In case you missed this story that was published the day I left for vacation, the district does not expect to submit a balanced budget to the county by deadline.