Fairfield group selected for HUSD supt. search

The Hayward Unified board decided to go with Fairfield-based The Cosca Group to conduct the search for a new superintendent. TCG submitted an estimate of $23,200 for the search, which was considerably lower than the $31,100 price quoted by Ray & Associates, which led the previous aborted search.

Trustee Luis Reynoso didn’t agree with the selection, and said he believed Ray & Associates could have picked up where they left off. Invoices show the district was billed $26,393 by R&A when the search was called off in May.

“I’m kind of disappointed,” Reynoso said. “We’re not making decisions based on good business practices.”

However, Kathryn Benson, HUSD director of human resources, said the search would have been started anew even if R&A was selected.

“Because of the length of time passed, the candidates and district information that were included in last year’s Superintendent search are no longer applicable,” Benson wrote in an e-mail. “The search firm would need to start from the beginning to attract and recruit new candidates, collaborate with the newly configured Board of Education to determine their preferences for a Superintendent candidate, and become familiar with the changing district demographics, educational ratings, and fiscal challenges.  The proposal submitted by R & A reflected that task.  Their proposal outlined a new search (not a continuing effort) and was considered by the Board of Education along with two other firms.”

Board President Lisa Brunner said they felt TCG was a wise pick for a number of reasons.

“The TCG proposal was better, and covered more of the advertising costs,” she said. “And  their background is strictly academic, and they’re local. They really seemed positive in what they are doing.”

Brunner said they hope to have a new superintendent selected by May to make for a smooth transition. Superintendent Janis Duran’s retirement is effective June 30.

Eric Kurhi

  • John W. Kyle


    Oh my gosh, here it is, less than a half hour since the abvove story by Kurgi annd… and the second guess mob has yet to ‘weigh in’ !

  • Quite frankly I don’t care who handles the search as long as there is a superintendant in place before June so that Ms. Duran can leave and return to her family in New Mexico.

  • John W. Kyle


    New Mexico? Are you sure it wasn’t Arizona?

  • Sherry Blair

    I missed a lot of what’s going on with the Superintendent search. Was this item put out to bid?

  • ME Grad

    Well, were screwed. This boared has been screwed since McGee and Brunner cheated their way into office and now the lack of experience and knowledge on how the district should be run is showing. We should start a recall and reacll the entire board.

  • Sherry Blair

    ME Grad, Why do you think we screwed? How do you Know McGee and Brunner cheated their way into office? I don’t think I know enough to think the board should be recalled. How about sharing if you have any evidence?

  • ME Grad:
    What is it that makes you so sure that the two new board members have done something to screw HUSD? what evidence do you have that they somehow cheated their way into office? What is it about McGee and Brunner that has you so upset?

    Who cares if it is Arizona or New Mexico???? She announced that she was wanting to return to her family, where ever they are.

  • John W. Kyle


    Just intended to remind that you, particularly you, do not have a great many answers, let alone all the answers!

  • John W. Kyle

    ME Grad;

    First sentence ofd your #7 indicates a lack of abulity to properly use English.

    Before you again describe yourelf as an ME Grad…. run out and get youre self a copy of Merriam We3bster’s Collegiate Dictionary…. look up the word ‘were’

    As youd second assignment look up the word ‘screw’ pass over t5he first definition of the verb transitive and go to the word in use since 1605 under the fifth meaning….. turn akso to the definition of the word INANE.



    Have you any grasp of the affect upon budget when HUSD has to pay for the expense of a recall ??

  • Sorry ME Grad, it seems as if a poster on this blog wants to attribute my posting ag #7 to you. It seems as if the kettle is calling the pot black. We all make typos and spelling errors when we attempt to put our thoughts down on this blog. The intent of your commentary was loud and clear, regardless of the grammatical or spelling or typos.

  • Jake

    Not that it is really important (really at all) – but Duran is definitely returning to New Mexico!

  • John W. Kyle


    My apologies, it was not post # 7 above but # 5 ABOVE.



  • Thank you Jake for confirming what I knew to be the correct information.

  • Lucy’s Mom

    As a parent, I want a superintendent that has professional ethics, someone that can come and, regardless of the family and friendships tied to positions, is willing to dismiss inefficient administrators.
    In neighboring districts, if a principal leads a failing school, he or she is out of the job; there is no promotion to an administrative position at the district office.
    If that is happening in Hayward, the new superintendent needs to clean house!
    I want a superintendent that can scrutinize how the money that belong to our students is spend.Transparency is badly needed!
    I want to have a superintendent that is willing to collaborate with teachers, parents and students. Yes, students, they need to be heard!
    I want a superintendent that comes and works for the Entire School Board of Education.
    No more drama; get down to the business of educating our children.
    I pray the Cosca Group can find someone with these qualifications.

  • John W. Kyle

    Lucy’s Mom;

    I waqnt .. I want , I want…

    Question for youis this:

    How doe you know that the ‘wanrs, (or needs) have not already been addressed ?

    Marlin Foxworth…. he who was dismissed in 1995, posed this question: “How do you teach youngsters sufficently, to meet test score goals when thwir ‘transience’ (and or) presence lasts just two to three years and then they are gone!

    Or, How have you as a parent and assuned prporty tax payer contribute to the ‘spirit’ of the community by voluntering to some identifiable effort to the extent of 40 or 50 hours per year?

  • Lucy’s Mom,
    I truly belive that what you are “wanting/wishing” for is exactly what the majority of this community hopes we get. The unfortunate thing is that a real house cleaning of at least the DO will not be done as quickly as you might hope. Since none of the admins at the DO will receive March 15 pink slips, their jobs are pretty much safe until this time next year. All anybody can hope for is that the new superintendent will be watching and listening and evaluating their performance(s) so that a thoughtful decision will be made next year.

  • Lucy’s Mom

    Ms. Booth,

    Thank you for your response. I know that it will take time for a new superintendent to get this done. I have been a parent in this district for 5 years, and if we stay here in Hayward, we will have 15 more years until we see our youngest graduate from High school. Thank you for reading “my wants” for what they are; a hope for better years to come.
    Most of us that work as volunteers in the community, continue to do so without using 2,000 + words on this blog to repeat time after time the ‘wonderful work’ we do. My salute to those dedicated humble volunteers!
    The March 15 deadline applied for all district personnel? I thought Administrators are at will employees. I appreciate your clarification on this issue.

  • Michael Moore

    Lucy’s Mom and Kathi, the wanting and wishing part may be what is wanted and needed. Now, based on the general revolt in Wisconsin, perhaps the collective bargaining agreements will go away. But it will be a while before that really happens.

    A strong superintendent who has control to nullify and decertify valid union rules and contracts is a level of law that is unprecedented for California. While this may happen as a part of the total financial collapse of government in California, having the power to overturn contractural guarantees will most likely be preceeded by recalls and much gnashing and flexing in our state and city.

  • John W. Kyle


    One of the pleasures I enjoyed as a parent and grandparent was the several graduations of one in particular. That young lady was treated to a parochial school education in Castro valley. She was the third of five packed into a relatively small home situated in Norris Canyon.

    When she graduated from the local Parochial k-8 school she was a member of a class of 35 students. Of that number 32 had started out together in the first grade. On graduation from grade school, she walked off with a significant number of items from the Castro Valley community, presented her for her ‘outside the class, interests and spirit of volunteer service..

    The real point here was that 32 of 35 had spent 8 years as a unit.How does thatr compare with the experience at any HUSD school?

    Moving on to the girls high school located across the street from DeLasalle HS she had to commute from Castro Valley as did her siblings… time on the road to and from was significant and as the home was, as I said relatively small, books as well as educational CD’s could be visibly observed stacked everywhere… they had no TV hook up so the entertainment was concentrated on cd’s, most of which where directed to some matter of interest in their transition from HS to College.

    This one in particular, was a water polo player of championship quality and was hired by the recreation district to be a life guard as well as a teacher/coach in her sport,….. She was paid fairly well. Using her mind at studies in the community college she was accepted into Cal Poly in San Louis Obispo. She graduated with honors, with a major in mathematics and I was bewildered by the fact that she did so well with Calculus ( a subject at which I lasted about three days) she went after her teaching credential which she now has……HER GOAL? She thinks to teach at the college level…..

    The point of all that found above…is, that despite that both parents worked full time, he as a pattern maker in an Iron Foundry and she as a nurse in the emergency trauma unit at the Emergency Hospital service in Castro Valley. The parents were into volunteer involvement From k-12 on a real heavy basis….. The point being…, both parents were deeply involved in their visible presence at the schools…… and the teachers took notice..! The others youngsters are / were champs at educational success also!

    Daughter and her Husband, did not lay back, to do the ‘heavy on looking and complaining’ just because they paid tuition. RATHER THAN THAT,THEY WERE INVOLVED TO ASSURE SUCCESS OF THEIR TRIBE!

  • Lucy’s Mom,
    As I understand it, there are only 3 DO admins that are under contract/at will and therefore don’t fall under the March 15th deadline. The rest of them at the DO are just like site administrators and they must be notified by March 15th of the possiblility of their job no longer being available to them. With this in mind, should the DO Admins be given a March 15th notice they would still have the right to “bump” and return to a school site..not something they would be thrilled to do but an option to them just the same.

    To other bloggers:
    And so are we all, in our own way hoping to assure the success of our tribe. Not everybody must do it the same way. This is a free country and with that is the freedom to choose how we will insure the success and happiness of our offspring. Until such time as it becomes a dictator state, where someone else decides how we must think and act free will and free choice are ours.

  • Sherry Blair

    Amen, Ms Booth.

  • Michael Moore

    Well said, Ms Booth.

  • qodrn

    Question: since the district has on contracr a HR company to fill its open positions, why doesn’t HUSD use them for the open job? The special searches don’t seem to be turning up anyone too useful anyway. Just wondering.

  • qodrn

    Question: since the district has on contract a HR company to fill its open positions, why doesn’t HUSD use them for the open superintendent job? The special searches don’t seem to be turning up anyone too useful anyway. Just wondering.

  • Qodrn,
    I wasn’t aware that HUSD was using a PR firm to fill its open positions. Do you know when they were hired? What positions are they filling?

  • John W. Kyle


    As usual the length of the contribution at # 19 either scares off those with short attention span or identifies an inability to do anything in their own contributions except ‘carp’!
    (Not the noun but the verb transitive.)

    In my description, (at my last submission,) of the eighth grade graduation ceremony, where 35 of the 38 had attended school as a cohesive class, losing but 8.6% spread out over an eight year period. incident- all, 3 more were later enrolled, which makes a stat5ement about class sizes !

    Question: How does that compare with the experience at HUSD? Which is free and without the tuition requirements!

    I’d be interested in a further read of your thoughts, especially since you have, on this blog’s history, from the moment of your first contribution occurring in August of 2010, prattled on, with advice based on aging memory of facts, ….even to the point that you identified your pastor as the Bishop of Rome and possessed a baptismal certificate to prove it.

    Personally, I think the problem should be placed at the feet of parents, the lack of volunteerism from the broader community and the transience of some families who move from district to district looking for the miraculous school which succeeds, ………..without parental involvement.

  • teachermama

    Sure as I live in Hayward, if we do away with collective bargaining agreements and the tenure provisions within them, we will see a massive layoff of senior teachers across the state. This will not be due to their fatigue, poor classroom managment, or their students’ low test scores. It will be a shameless money grab; those teachers will be replaced by less-experienced folks just getting into the profession by matter of vocation or unemployment. These newbies will earn $40,000-$50,000 less per year than those that were laid off. They will encounter more students, less preparation time and fewer mentors than their predecessors did. The students will suffer, which, evidently, is not the primary concern of policymakers and economists. The “teacher quality” issue is a smokescreen. The current hostility toward public unions is all about the Benjamins.

  • Teachermama,
    So very true.

  • John W. Kyle


    Atta girly, just a dab of fuel for the fire…. as usual!

  • John W. Kyle


    atta gitl, pour diatribe as well as refusal to face facts into the mix, just like gran pa ? How about getting the VP to do her thing… you should maybe bring kids to the Board meetings for a lay down and disruption of the proceedings…. that is typical….in vain aattempt to meet the inevitable… is it not?

  • Michael Moore

    The issue is money, of which there is not enough to do all the things that need to be done to ensure qualilty. The problem in HUSD is that the test scores are below median, class size is climbing, quality is going away and the future is very bleak.

    Almost everyone is in agreement that HUSD should be about the students and not about a earning a living and profession for the teachers and administrative non instructional staff.

  • Sherry Blair

    Michael, I don’t think it is about the money. I think its about our false belief in scarcity of resources. That belief keeps us from imagining a better future. One of the reasons we are stopped by the money is that we have been brainwashed to believe that we must compete (over scarce resources) to survive. That is a rather masculine sports model that does very well for some purposes. But, a lot of people are being left out because they cannot compete. Winners and losers are built into the competitive model.

    What is needed now and what the economy will force is a new spirit of cooperation to bring about a balance. We know how to do that. We have all done that in our families where we are taught to share our resources no matter how great or small. In families, we usually think of ourselves as responsible for each other whether disabled or not. Everyone eats. That is the model, a more feminine model of cooperation that has always worked. It’s also the model of Jesus and Mohammed and all the great sources of spiritual inspiration. Even animals cooperate in child raising.

    That is why the schools must listen to the students and parents. They are great sources of energy and information if there are open lines of communication. The reason volunteerism is down is because the schools want to dictate rather than to allow each individual to find the meaningful contribution they can offer.

  • Michael Moore

    Sherry, very well said. I agree with every point you made, starting with the revolution. The issue is that the paradigm of revolution still has the winners and losers built in to it.

    The solution is to toss out all of the paradigms to bring about the balance that is needed. I believe that the garden is an outstanding model to start with with.

    The carbon cycle and essential photosynthesis with lots of sweat equity is the solution to the educational paradox in California. Schools do not listen, they are inantimate. The leaders do listen and they are responsible for the classic competitive model. The leaders are not just the trustees, staff, teachers, students and parents. The leaders are all of us. If we want the garden to produce results that we can use, then the everyone needs to contribute.

    Those who choose not to contribute either need to be consigned to the the compost heap or off to the another land that does not work.

    I suspect that this world and this revolution is not likely in our lifetimes. I saw “Waiting for Superman” and stayed alert long enough to watch her fame and burn out.

    Real revolutions are very cleansing. Many do not want to be that clean.

  • qodrn

    Why is it when a high school Tennyson is closed down due to gun shots, there is not a statement by the district sup about what happened? Instead, reporters got someone on the phone who said things are all better now, who refused to identify herself. REALLY?
    Maybe I am wrong in thinking closing down a school for safety reasons is a big deal.

  • Sherry Blair

    You’re right about gardens and revolutions, Michael and about safety, Qodrn.

    I guess what I want to see is evidence of an upsurge of spirit. So many people have been depressed by the top down dominance that the only way they see to free themselves is through the flight or fight reflex,truancy, moving,dropping out expressing anger in violent ways.

    I don’t think the answer is to call them names and exclude them, but to see that there is something wrong with our system that in such a few years our system can do so much harm. Without full disclosure, how do we know what really happened?

    I would love to see the data on how many of those drop outs actually succeed through the GED or High SchoolProficiency, ROP, adult school, apprenticeships, OTJ training or community college. They can even get degrees online. You can take courses at MIT and Harvard free online!

    Maybe we all need to drop out of HUSD, follow the lead of the Democratic representatives in Wisconsin. What would they do if no one showed up for school or for meetings? Or wouldn’t it be fun to all sit in at the district office? Do you think the Daily Review would cover that?

    Just dreaming…

  • John W. Kyle

    Ms. Blair and Mr. Moore; At items # 32 & #33 you unwittingly advocate for a Town Hall Meeting.

    I abandoned that idea when the Chairman of the Board of C of C advised through his recently hired operations manager, that the FITAG group was sufficiently well endowed with talent and purpose to solve all the problems confronting HUSD. Of course he was apparently unaware that FITAG concept was first tried, using the same format and much of the same initial leadership, about 15 years ago! It was a bust then and will not successfully solve HUSD’s problems by the end of June!

    At properly organized ‘Town Hall’ meetings, (not the tea party type nor that which was displayed by the candidates in the most recent Presidential election,) there is a pattern to be followed!

    Convene for a few minutes of explanation on how to provide full opportunity for each attendee to be heard, have their remarks recorded electronically as well as on easel mounted paper and have attendees critique the ideas presented.

    Recognizing that perhaps as many as 200 or 250 would attend, the time requirement allowing each to speak would be prohibitive unless ‘break out sessions’ were employed.

    A break out session involving 250 folks would need 13 or 14 tables at which attendees would be directed to seat themselves as separate discussion groups. Teachers would be invited, not as a means of getting HEA issues presented but as a ‘discussion leader’ for the purpose of assuring that all attendees are comfortable with the purposeful guidance that teachers are assumed able to provide, just as they would in a classroom. Common sense would enable them to avoid discussion of HEA goals; what is required of them is acceptance of the idea that Mr. and Mrs. J. Q. Public have need to be heard and having accepted that idea, the teachers would elicit cooperation of each person seated at a break out table.

    Having imparted the need for co-operation, there would follow, as an ice breaker, a 30 second allotment of time to each prtson, ‘once around the table’ of self introductions. That would be followed by another ‘once around the table, which solicits basic ideas for helpful overall improvement of HUSD’s condition.

    Not a Pandora’s box approach but a simple request for a single idea expressed by each individual, follow that by another ‘around’ and another if a real flow of ideas develops. Emphasis must be given this thought; ‘we pretty much know the general nature of the many problems…. but,…. “How would we best be able to solve them?”

    Having planted that thought, watch and be amazed as the potential leadership qualities of participants begins to unfold. Of course ythe ideas are being recorded on the easel’s supply of paaper and the marker pen recording of such by one of the seated participants….chosen by the group.

    Here is where the meeting becomes very interesting…
    if an idea proposed by a participant catches the imagination of other participants and they begin building on that idea with attachment of suggestions intended as furtherance of the basic intent of the initial thought on a particular suggestion….. then those matters ought be recorded on the easel and identified as such by an asterisk matching that of the original.

    What happens next is that ‘pride of ownership’ at having advanced the original thought produces ‘volunteers’ willing to participate in whatever it takes to initiate actions which are successful.

    Of course, here in Hayward we have an abundance of critics who, fearful of being lost without a voice, will be scornful and decry the thought of a Town Hall meeting.
    It is my thought that perhaps that type of person, is fearful of being capable of participation… perhaps by lack of personal education or appearance which tends to defeat themselves…

    Well, at least I can personally hold my head up and say…. “I TRIED” at the moment of my personal interrogation at the gates guarded by St. Pete.

    I am reminded of the remark made by Richard Tregaskis, author of the WWII story ‘Guadalcanal Diary‘, who at the conclusion of the story. wrote about a Marine KIA at Guadalcanal, saying to St. Pete… “ another Marine reporting sir… I’ve served my time in hell!”

    It makes one wonder about the fate of some of our drop outs…. And those HUSD critics who do nothing but ‘carp’!

  • Michael Moore

    Sherry, your zeal is easy to embrace. It is not any different than that of the freedom fighters who have liberated Tunisia and Egypt and who threaten to unseat the despots of Libya, Iran, Yemen and Bahrain.

    If there is a real upswell in America it will come from the working classes and common people united with the students in overthrowing evil doers. I believed that this would happen more than a quarter century ago and it failed. All of the press in all its majesty will fall all over themselves to cover that revolution.

    I will be proud to join with my comrades at the gates and on the barricades when it starts. In the immortal words of Johnny in Rebel Without A Cause, when questioned by the media, “Whatcha got.”

  • Michael Moore

    Qodrn, you are right to ask the question here. The right place, I suspect is first to the Tennyson Principal and then to the Superitendent.

    Does anyone know the answer to the question raised?

  • trigliker

    Was the shooting on campus? In front of the campus?

  • Eric Kurhi

    Shooting was near campus, Whitman and Mason. Here’s what I wrote up yesterday.

    HAYWARD — As many as nine shots were fired near Tennyson High School around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, and while it appears no one was struck by bullets, afterschool activities were halted as the campus was locked down as a precaution, police said.

    Witnesses said a group of young males ran away from the Whitman Street area after the shooting, and that a silver Cadillac may also have been involved.

    “We’re not sure if anyone in that group was hit,” said police Sgt. Steve Brown. “But no victims have surfaced.”

    Brown said a parked Honda was struck by one of the bullets.

    Three males were seen running into a nearby pedestrian tunnel. One was described as white or Hispanic, 16 to 18 years old, wearing a burgundy sweatshirt, white T shirt, black gym shorts and white tennis shoes. The second was black, about 6 feet tall with medium build, shaved head, a white scarf around his neck, with a black jacket, blue jeans and black tennis shoes. The third was said to be Hispanic, 16 to 18, with short black hair, wearing a white T shirt, bluejeans with white lettering on one of the legs and black tennis shoes.
    Police ask anyone with information contact them at 510-293-7000.

  • John W. Kyle




  • AP Polk

    Why is Kathryn Benson listed as the, Director of Human Resources? I thought she was the Director of Classified Personnel? So, Hayward Unified is allowing a person without a credential nor a degree to lead the superintendent search? Does anyone know what’s going on?

  • AP:
    Didn’t you know that what Duran says goes??? She must have a personal reason for not having the current director of certificated/HR director Beknel take a back seat. The only other person in HR that is certificated is Jeanne Duarte-Armas…Maybe there would be a possible conflict of interest since Mr. Armas is a sitting board member. Clearly the board of education did not make this decision to have Benson do the coordinating of the search…or maybe they don’t understand the significance of having a classified person do it.

  • AP Polk

    Thank you Mrs Booth!! Indeed Duran does have a reason for Becnal to take a back seat… Becnal has plans to move into the superintendents position!!!!!! Just like Bell California get in, get paid and pad your retirement. So nice to know that I am not the only one that figured out that what Duran says goes. She pulls the strings and Wu Chien Fernandez and Kathryn Benson respond. Breaking laws and arbitrarily changing the rules is the way things are done at HUSD. Incidentally Wu Chien has never been a teacher, vice-principal or principal either.

  • AP:
    Welcome to the blog. Your information regarding Ms.Fernandes doesn’t surprise me. Watch the board meetings and you will see just how much Duran pulls the strings, aided by some of the board members. Reynoso may be loud and abrasive, but I believe that he does want transparancy, respect for the law and placing students first and foremost.