To help the public get to know the new administrators appointed by the Mt. Diablo school board on Tuesday, I videotaped their introductions and comments to the board.
Vittoria Abbate-Maghsoudi was appointed as Assistant Director of Adult, Continuing and Career Education. She replaces Susan Passeggi, who was appointed as assistant principal of adult and career education in the Castro Valley school district June 9. Abbate-Maghsoudi was promoted from her position as vice principal of adult education in the Mt. Diablo district:
Lisa Oates was appointed Principal of Oak Grove Middle School in Concord, replacing Terry McCormick, who was transferred to Principal of Pleasant Hill MS. McCormick told me she volunteered to leave her leadership post at Oak Grove so the school could apply for a $4.5 million School Improvement Grant.
According to a May 29, 2003 LA Times article, Oates was ousted from her position as assistant principal of Antelope Valley HS in 2003, when a state audit found the school’s leadership was unable to improve students’ academic performance for two years. Oak Grove Middle School has been named by the CDE as a “persistently lowest-achieving school,” determined to be in the lowest 5 percent of campuses in federal Program Improvement based on its average three-year proficiency rate for English-language arts and math over a three-year period.
Mary-Louise Newling was appointed Principal of Meadow Homes Elementary in Concord, replacing Toby Montez. The staff report states that the incumbent (Montez) is retiring. However, Montez told me that he expected to be assigned another position in the district, after officials asked him to leave his post so Meadow Homes could apply for a $5.1 million federal School Improvement Grant. Newling was previously a curriculum specialist for Alameda County’s multilingual/multicultural children’s literature center.
Stephen Brady was appointed vice principal of Ygnacio Valley High. Although the staff report states that the incumbent is retiring at the end of the year, former vice principal Joseph Alvarez actually resigned.
Doing a basic google search, I found a declaration by Brady as part of the Williams v. state of California lawsuit nicknamed “Decent Schools for California.” In it, he complained about the lack of textbooks and substandard facilities at Balboa HS in San Francisco, along with detrimental staff turnover.
Finally, the board appointed Gary Peterson as vice principal of Mt. Diablo High School in Concord. The staff report states that the incumbent has been transferred to another position in the district. According to the school’s website, one vice principal position is vacant. Vice principal Abyslom Sims has resigned.
Peterson received mixed reviews from students at Abraham Lincoln High School in San Francisco, where he taught prior to teaching at Riverview MS in Bay Point.
Are you happy with the above appointments and are you comfortable with the board’s decision to allow Superintendent Steven Lawrence to appoint eight more administrators over the summer without its approval?