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MDUSD fills some administrative positions, but is still interviewing for others

By Theresa Harrington
Sunday, July 29th, 2012 at 8:22 pm in Education.

Based on continued questions from readers about administrative assignments in the Mt. Diablo school district and the district’s failure to publicly announce many of them to the entire community, I have compiled the following list of assignments that have been announced (in some instances only to the school site communities) or confirmed by the district:

Here are assignments or appointments that have been approved by the school board:

Bill Morones: Director of Secondary Education (4-1 vote; promotion from Ygnacio Valley HS principal)

Charla Hernandez: Ayers Elementary (from Brentwood)
Lianne Cismowski: Cambridge Elementary (promotion from MDHS vice principal)
Jon Pierce: Fair Oaks Elementary (from Oakland)
Kristan Martin Meyer: Sun Terrace Elementary
David Ramirez: Westwood Elementary (promoted from El Dorado MS vice principal)

Marie Schirmer: SASS administrator (promoted from Cambridge Elem. principal)

Here are reassignments that Superintendent Steven Lawrence has made without board approval (under his own authority):

Gretchen Jacobs: After-school administrator (transferred from Sun Terrace principal)

Cheryl Champion: Delta View Elementary (transferred from Fair Oaks Elementary)

Jenny Vargas: Sunrise/Shadelands special education (transferred from Westwood Elementary)

Sue Brothers: Principal of Ygnacio Valley HS (transferred from Clayton Valley HS)

José Espinoza: Vice Principal, Ygnacio Valley HS (transferred from Clayton Valley HS)

Stephen Brady: Vice Principal, Northgate HS (transferred from Ygnacio Valley HS)

Jon Campopiano: Vice Principal, Oak Grove MS (transferred from Northgate HS vice principal)

Additional principal openings:
Pleasant Hill Elementary, Valle Verde Elementary, Woodside Elementary and Riverview Middle School

Are you satisfied with the administrative appointments made so far?

JULY 30 UPDATE: It has just come to my attention that the district is also seeking a new administrator for Prospect alternative HS:

AUG. 9 UPDATE: I have just received the following email from Julie Braun-Martin, in response to a request for the names of newly hired principals:

“Here is a list of the newly hired principals:

Kristan Martin-Meyer: Sun Terrace Elementary

Jon Pierce: Fair Oaks Elementary

Thom Kwiatkowski: Riverview Middle

Jenny Cronan: Woodside Elementary

Angela Hotchkiss: Pleasant Hill Elementary

Beverly Tom: Valle Verde Elementary”

AUG. 10 UPDATE: Here’s the email response I received from Julie Braun-Martin, after I asked whether the the appointment of the Riverview MS principal is contingent on board approval, since the board did not authorize Superintendent Lawrence to fill that position:

“The superintendent had the authority during the month of July when the Board was not meeting to proceed with hiring all adminstrative vacancies, so we could be ready for the opening of school.”

Here is the response I sent her:

“Julie, Here is the authority the board granted to Superintendent Lawrence, according to the June 25 agenda report:

‘Member (Linda Mayo) Moved, Member (Lynne Dennler) seconded to approve the Originalmotion ‘Approve allowing the Superintendent to enter into contracts for the above stated positions prior to the August 13 Board meeting.’. Upon a Roll-Call Vote being taken, the vote was: Aye: 3 Nay: 2.

Here is a list of the ‘above-mentioned positions,’ which was attached to the agenda:

‘Elementary School Principal 3.0 FTE

Student Services Coordinator 9-12 .60 FTE

Vice Principal, Continuation School 1.0 FTE

Administrator, NSHS 1.0 FTE

Student Services Coordinator 6-8 .60 FTE

Coordinator, After School Program 1.0 FTE Classified Position

(If approved by the Board)’

The agenda report also stated:

‘Only positions that are currently authorized by the Board can be filled.’

The staff recommendation stated: ‘Approve allowing the Superintendent to enter into contracts for the above stated positions prior to the August 13 Board meeting.’

What is the basis for your assertion that the superintendent was authorized to fill vacancies not disclosed in the June 25 agenda report?”

Here is a link to the June 25 agenda report:

Here are links to portions of the board’s discussion regarding this:

Part 1:

Part 2:

AUG. 15 UPDATE: Since the district still has not released a comprehensive list of new administrators, it appears information will continue to trickle out.

Here’s an announcement about new administrators at Foothill MS, from the principal’s letter to parents:

“…As you and I continue our journey this year you will see some new faces at Foothill. With the retirement of Mike Mattos, we have David Roe joining us in the Vice Principal position. Dave comes from Sequoia Middle School where he has been an administrator for over six years. Previously he taught history for a combined total of 15 years at Clayton Valley High School and Pine Hollow Middle School. Dave looks forward to working with the entire school community to continue Foothill’s long tradition of academic success. You might want to catch one of his infamous “Coffee with Dave” morning gatherings coming to you this fall. Dave will be overseeing the 6th grade.

Also joining us is Theodora Pappas in the Student Services Coordinator (SSC) position. Theo is very excited to join the team here at Foothill and get to know students, staff, and families. Last year she worked between Pine Hollow and Riverview Middle Schools as a SSC and previously she was a middle school Assistant Principal in San Ramon. Before beginning her administrative career, Theo taught high school government, economics, and world history. Theo spent her summer in Greece and is a life time resident of Berkeley. She will be overseeing the 7th grade…”

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104 Responses to “MDUSD fills some administrative positions, but is still interviewing for others”

  1. Hell Freezing Over Says:

    A few short years ago, a few very vocal trustees and board candidates postured outrage and conducted chest thumping at public meetings in order to oust a superintendent for so many alleged misdeeds – not being transparent, not providing timely and thorough information via meeting minutes and other forms of documentation to the public, not having and following a strategic plan, lying to the public to cover up budget problems, not working with the teachers and other district employees in a trusting and expedient manner, student transportation issues galore and all sorts of horrible injustices they publicly and loudly protested on blogs, other online outlets, in newspaper articles and even on voter information sites. Under the “management” of the very people who thumped the loudest, those same misdeeds and injustices have continued and worsened.

    Those who called out the superintendent then, and used the media so happily for their “cause” and promises to make it all better and “fix” the wrongs, are themselves the very monster they railed against.

    Shame on these public district employees and trustees for letting ineptness, ignorance, greed and power rule their decisions that affected and will continue to affect our children’s education in the MDUSD for years to come.

  2. Theresa Harrington Says:

    HFO: It’s unclear why MDUSD is so reluctant to share information with the public.
    General Counsel Greg Rolen has threatened to seek a court order blocking FCMAT from releasing a report to the Times that outlines laws regarding special education. Rolen also refused to release a “thorough analysis” of the district’s practice of paying the cost of bond issuance with bond premium, after Superintendent Lawrence and Trustee Gary Eberhart assured the board and the public that the analysis showed the district was acting within the law.
    Such secrecy flies in the face of transparency and causes some members of the public to wonder whether the district has something to hide.

  3. Theresa Harrington Says:

    The Contra Costa County Office is hosting a “Breakthrough Coaching” workshop Nov. 1-2 at DVC so administrators and their assistants can “learn how to work smarter and work in ways that enable them to spend more time in the classroom,” according to the CCCOE July 18 minutes. I wonder if SASS staff and MDUSD principals will attend.

  4. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Please note that I have added an Aug. 15 update to this blog post, with information about new administrators at Foothill MS: David Roe has been promoted to vice principal, after serving as a student services coordinator at Sequoia MS. Also, Theodora Pappas in the Student Services Coordinator. She previously split her time between Riverview MS and Pine Hollow MS as a student services coordinator.

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