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MDUSD expects to appoint superintendent, three vice principals on Wednesday

By Theresa Harrington
Tuesday, August 27th, 2013 at 9:09 pm in Education, Mt. Diablo school district.

The Mt. Diablo school board will likely appoint Nellie Meyer, deputy superintendent of the San Diego school district, as its new superintendent on Wednesday. In addition, the board expects to appoint three high school vice principals and to extend for three months the contract of Interim General Counsel Jayne Williams. If the board approves Meyer’s contract, she will take the helm of the district Sept. 23.

A final Environmental Impact Report for proposed Ygnacio Valley High field improvements, expected to return to the board on Wednesday for approval, is not on the agenda.

Here is the agenda for Wednesday’s meeting, which will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the district office board room at 1936 Carlotta Drive in Concord:

“1.0 Call to Order
1.1 President will call the meeting to order Info
2.0 Announcements
2.1 In closed session, the Board will consider the items listed on the closed session agenda. Info
3.0 Public Comment
3.1 The public may address the Board concerning items that are scheduled for discussion during closed session only. These presentations are limited to three minutes each, or a total of thirty minutes for all speakers or the three minute limit may be shortened. Speakers are not allowed to yield their time. Info
4.0 Adjourn to Closed Session at 6:00 p.m.
4.1 Negotiations – The Board may discuss negotiations or provide direction to its representatives regarding represented employees, pursuant to EERA (Govt. Code Section 3549.1) Agency negotiators: Julie Braun Martin and Deborah Cooksey. Agencies: MDEA, CSEA, Local One M&O, Local One CST, MDSPA, and Supervisory. Action
4.2 Conference with Labor Negotiators pursuant to Govt. Code Section 54957.6 Designated District representatives: President Cheryl Hansen, Interim General Counsel Jayne Williams; Unrepresented employee: District Superintendent Action
4.3 Public Employee Appointment pursuant to Govt. Code Section 54957 (b) (1): District Superintendent Action
5.0 Closed Session Agenda

6.0 Reconvene Open Session
6.1 Reconvene Open Session at 7:30 p.m. Info
7.0 Preliminary Business
7.1 Pledge of Allegiance and Roll Call Info

8.0 Report Out Action Taken in Closed Session
8.1 Report of Special Closed Session – August 21, 2013 Info
8.2 Negotiations Info
8.3 Conference with Labor Negotiators Info
8.4 Public Employee Appointment – District Superintendent Info

9.0 Consent Agenda Action
9.1 (Item #1) Items listed under Consent Agenda are considered routine and will be approved/adopted by a single motion. There will be no separate discussion of these items; however, any item may be removed from the consent agenda upon the request of any member of the Board and acted upon separately. Action
9.2 (Item #2) Recommended Action for Certificated Personnel Action
9.3 (Item #3) Request to increase Full Time Equivalent (FTE) for the 2013-2014 school year Action
9.4 (Item #4) Approval of Variable Term Waiver Request Action
9.5 (Item #5) Recommended Action for Classified Personnel Action
9.6 (Item #6) Classified Personnel: Request to Increase and Decrease Positions Action
9.7 (Item #7) Approve contract/purchase order with My Therapy Company for bilingual Speech and Language services at Meadow Homes Elementary for the 2013-14 School Year. Action
9.8 (Item #8) Renewal of Memorandum of Understanding between Seneca Center for Children & Families and Mt. Diablo Unified School District (MDUSD) Action
9.9 (Item #9) Approval of master contract between Mt. Diablo Unified School District (MDUSD) and Progressus Therapy Services to provide District-Wide Occupational/Physical Therapy Services for the 2013-2014 school year and 2012-2013 Extended School Year Program. Action
9.10 (Item #10) Increase purchase order with Non Public Agency Ed Support Services Action
9.11 (Item #11) Contract between Mt. Diablo Unified School District (MDUSD) and Maxim Healthcare Services, Non Public Agency (NPA) for the 2013-2014 school year. Action
9.12 (Item #12) Alignment of Updated Editions/Copy Write Years of Currently Adopted Instructional Materials Action
9.13 (Item #13) Approve submission of the Cleveland Foundation grant to expand technology labs at El Dorado Middle School. Action
9.14 (Item #14) Approval of contracts with Exploring New Horizons (ENH) for Pleasant Hill Elementary School and Hidden Valley Elementary School Outdoor Ed Programs Action
9.15 (Item #15) Approve Contract with Marin County Office of Education (COE) Outdoor School of Walker Creek Ranch for Walnut Acres Elementary School Action

10.0 Consent Items Pulled for Discussion

11.0 Recognitions

12.0 Public Comment
12.1 The public may address the Board regarding any item within the jurisdiction of the Board of Education of the Mt. Diablo Unified School District that is not on this agenda. These presentation are limited to three minutes each, or a total of thirty minutes for all speakers, or the three minute limit may be shortened. If there are multiple speakers on any one subject, the public comment period may be moved to the end of the meeting. Speakers are not allowed to yield their time. Info

13.0 Communications

13.1 District Organizations – At regular Board meetings, a single spokesperson of each recognized district organization may make a brief presentation following the Consent Agenda. Items are limited to those which are informational. Info

14.0 Superintendent’s Report

15.0 Business/Action Items

15.1 Approve Contract for District Superintendent Action

15.2 Appointment of Vice Principal, High School Action

15.3 Appointment of Vice Principal, High School Action

15.4 Appointment of Vice Principal, High School Action

15.5 Legal services contract with Meyers Nave to provide specialized litigation services Action

15.6 Extension of Legal Services Contract with Latisha McCray, Contract Attorney Action

15.7 Three month extension of contract with Meyers Nave to provide Interim General Counsel services Action

15.8 Independent Contract with Document Tracking Services for the 2013-2014 school year Action

15.9 Renewal of Independent Service Contract with David H. Costa for Courier Service for Food Services and site pick-up to financial institution. Action

15.10 Solar Renewable Energy Credits/Certificates (REC’s) Info

15.11 Mandated Costs Action

15.12 Meeting Extension Action

16.0 Future Agenda Items

17.0 Board Member Reports

17.1 Board reports Info

18.0 Closed Session
18.1 Items not completed during the first Closed Session will be carried over to this closed session. Action

19.0 Adjournment
19.1 Adjourn Meeting”

What impact do you think a new superintendent will have on the district?

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111 Responses to “MDUSD expects to appoint superintendent, three vice principals on Wednesday”

  1. anon Says:

    Hmm, Gretchen Jacobs has resigned? Is this new, or did I just miss it earlier?

  2. g Says:

    anon: Resignation was most likely part of a personnel “deal.” I suspect that’s how districts, whenever possible, generally handle getting rid of problematic staff without formal arbitration or a court battle. Both parties agree that the offending employee will be transferred to a lower position while maintaining the higher pay, transferred to a ‘problem school’ that they will be happy to leave as soon as possible, or transfer to a ‘do little or nothing’ position; all in exchange for the employee agreeing to resign after they have received another full year of pay, with plenty of free time to seek new employment. My theory makes Gretchen Jacobs typical. (Think Mildred Browne. Think Sue Brothers last year in West Sac–as well as her last year here. Think SDUSD’s recent reassignment of Dana Shelburne. Think multiple transfers and the subsequent resignations/retirements after exactly one year in our district in just the last few years.)

    Keep track of the more questionable reassignments made so far for ’13-’14, and then compare my suspicions to the resignation/retirement lists next spring/summer.

  3. g Says:

    As to Theresa’s question; In this particular case, if handled well, we have a real opportunity to see a shake-up and improvment of the generally poor middle and high school performance history throughout most of the district. Although, I fear it won’t happen quickly enough to help those students currently on the road to failure. There will be sunshine and roses for a while as she works hard to ‘fit in’. Then I suspect there will eventually be even more head-butting at both Dent and with the board than we’ve seen in the past.

    Frankly, I don’t hold high expectations of her staying more than two years of her three year contract. But then of course, we all have to just wait and see.

  4. Doctor J Says:

    My predictions of Dr. Nellie’s impact on MDUSD:

    1. Significant reorganization of district high level management staff, new titles, and some missing faces, especially among those whose contracts expire on June 30.
    2. Admiral Bill will “consult” and remove the cloak of secrecy from Bryan’s hocus pocus accounting system — and help institute complete management restructuring at Dent, including a complete overhaul of SASS. Don’t be surprised to see new job titles, new job descriptions and less pay for Dent.
    3. By Christmas, there will be several principal reshuffles, all geared toward improving student achievement at underperforming schools.
    4. The disappointing API and AYP results [revealed tomorrow] at about a dozen schools will result in targeting those schools for immediate reform. As Admiral Bill would say: “General Quarters, all hands on deck”.
    5. Dr. Nellie will be offered a significant restructure of her contract in Jan 2015, which will keep her here until June 2018.

  5. anon Says:

    OMG. How long will this district have to suffer with Julie Braun Martin and her horrific management staff? Well, I did not get paid for my overtime and if my check is wrong again I will go to the police, nobody can make this many errors with the same person. Somebody needs to go out of there in handcuffs – I absolutely agree. Julie Braun Martin shut down the payroll department to target an employee for pursuing a restraining order against an employee who has only lasted this long because of Julie BM. She told the employee she better not involve anyone – even us people who would have testified how out of control things are in that department. Julie then excused the entire department to go after this poor woman -coincidentally the same woman who spoke at a meeting and was thrown off the property the next day! Cheryl Hansen has been blamed in meetings, for instructing Personnel to retaliate for her complaining about Payroll. Now Julie Braun Martin is no longer concerned with keeping the fight out of the sites. This employee – and I use that term loosely – has issues with a capital “I” and Julie does nothing but run interference for her. This employee who Julie allowed to shut down a tax-payer paid department to target a trusted employee, is now going all over the district demanding recommendation letters and using her work days to prepare for some hearing. Do it on your own time and for Gods sake, let us take our Payroll to the county or outsource it altogether. LEAVE US OUT OF IT JULIE!!!!!!

  6. Doctor J Says:

    Cindy Dean, well respected teacher from MDUSD, had $500 worth of her teaching materials thrown out by custodians the day after school was out, and despite multiple emails, NO RESPONSE from Rose Lock or any other administrator. No wonder she feels disrespected.

  7. Doctor J Says:

    YVHS neighbors have retained legal counsel and submitted a letter to the District to cancel the Stadium Lighting Project because it is an improper use of Measure C funds. About time.

  8. Anon Says:

    Well, there goes ” Sherry Whitmarsh Stadium”

  9. Doctor J Says:

    GROWTH — COLLABORATION — NEW FOCUS those are Dr. Nellie’s focus. What a wonderful selection by the Board !

  10. Doctor J Says:

    Hooray for Brian Lawrence abstaining from voting on the new vice-principals since no background information is provided prior to the Board meeting.

  11. Teacher Says:

    Did Cindy Dean address the board?

  12. Doctor J Says:

    @Teach#10 Not only did she address the Board, and name names, but Dr. Bernard was furiously writing notes. It was powerful.

    Did I hear correctly there will be a recovery of attorney fees spent under the Rolen regime of more than $90,000 ?

  13. Teacher Says:

    Good for her!

  14. Doctor J Says:

    Wasn’t this the same Cindy that worked in SASS a couple of years ago ? And she couldn’t even get an email acknowledgement from Rose Lock, her former boss ? How disrespectful !

  15. g Says:

    Dr. J. #11: That’s not quite what I heard. 1) Jayne Williams original 4 month contract amount is roughly $30K/mo. This contract is also approx. $30K/mo.

    As to “saving” that amount due to Rolen’s buddy firms, Cheryl seems to have let a cat at least get one paw out of the bag–a bit early.

    Based on her comments tonight there are back room conversations happening around reducing the burgeoning numbers of outside legal companies hired under Rolen’s tenure. About time!

    Last meeting there was a closed session item termed “possible initiation of litigation.” That certainly sounds like the district is/was considering sueing someone. Perhaps, and I can only speculate, the board is considering litigation to recover funds erroneously billed and paid by one or more of Rolen’s good-buddy outside legal firms.

    If so, hopefully they will start with Juhl-Darlington, and then look closely at Peter Bonis’ court performances of the last few years.

    In addition, I would like to point out to the board that they can talk all night, but what good is it if they then just “unanimously” approve a 3 mo. “Special Litigation” contract with Myers Nave that does not in any document indicate what the billable hours amounts are.

    The documents presented refer to those amounts being included in the “Engagement Letter” but NO Engagement letter was provided for public scrutiny.

    At least when slippery Rolen posted a legal contract it showed exact billable amounts and terms.

    The “special litigation” they speak of will probably drag out for years. This 3 month agreement is a farce. I have no problem with Myers Nave being chosen, even for a long term deal, but let’s call the whole thing what it is, and give the public a wide-scope picture, instead of a jigsaw puzzle of expen$e expectation$ to have to piece together every 3-4 months.

    In addition to a couple of ‘older’ cases that will go to trial within a few months, this district has been sued 7 times in just 8 months. Subtracting one or two that are motor vehicle related, and will probably be settled fairly quickly, that leaves FIVE major Tort claims the district will end up in court over — and could drag out for years of preliminaries, and revisions and appeals, and so on.

    We don’t want to forget that we not only have the John Doe/Martin molestation cases(s-s-s-s) that will plague us for years, but there is also the Jane Doe/Cottrell molestation case.

    Additionally there are three more that, at first glance, appear to be discrimination related, etc. And we don’t get to just ask people to “Please stop suing the district because we are very busy now.”

    I would suggest that they get honest with the public about what that current annual legal budget of $940K will cover, and then revise that number to fit the current facts, circumstances, and contract ‘deals’ being made.

    Then I suggest they get honest about how much legal costs could and should impact employee negotiations.

    I suspect, between Richards fast talk and state funding delays and unions negotiating for their buck ‘first’, the reality is that this district is in financial quicksand.

  16. g Says:

    Sorry, mistake in my comment. The Myers Nave Special Litigation contract with no “Engagement Letter” or amounts is for a full year.

  17. Theresa Harrington Says:

    The interim general counsel told me after the meeting that Meyers Nave has been retained to handle the Joe Martin abuse case.

  18. Doctor J Says:

    @TH#17 That is what I understood in a very convoluted exchange — MDUSD’s insurance company made the selection for the Martin civil case and will be paying the legal bills for that case — as Dr. Bernard said “We had no choice. They [the insurance company] dictated to us” or words to that effect.

  19. Theresa Harrington Says:

    I don’t think he said the district had no choice. But, he or the interim general counsel did say that the insurance company independently recommended Meyers Nave for this case because of its expertise in this area. I don’t believe they mentioned the case.

  20. Doctor J Says:

    @TH#19 While it wasn’t mentioned by name, Dr. Bernard referred to it as a “very serious” case or words to that effect. The video is on line and one can advance easily to that exchange using your mouse.

  21. Doctor J Says:

    Any explanation of why he YVHS Stadium lighting EIR issue was not on the Agenda? @TH, Did you get a copy of letter by the neighbor’s attorney ? Dr. Bernard was sure you got your copy of the NEA article on the MDUSD teacher. 🙂 I presume that Dr. Nellie hung around for the rest of the meeting — did she seem surprised by any of the issues ?

  22. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Although the district’s video of the entire meeting is online, here’s my clip of Meyer’s comments to the board and public:

  23. g Says:

    It would be nice if we could see an actual copy of the district’s Certificate of General Liability Insurance coverage. It might help in identifying potential costs.

    It seems if the people are paying, they should be able to see what they are buying.

    Who was our insurer when the first allegations against Martin occurred? Would they be the responsible insurer? Or, since we just added General Liability coverage to our CSAC Excess Insurance Policies as recently as July 1, 2013–does that mean we are covered retroactively–or only for claims occuring after 7/1/13?

    In either case, what is the maximum, umbrella, total occurance, etc. coverage limit? What is our deductable/retention/up-front cost?

  24. g Says:

    This will make your eyes glaze over — just as it says at one point. It is all centered on Texas cases but I doubt if insurance policies and law are all that different from CA. In any case, it is an excellent turorial for attorneys in advising their district clients about buying Professional Liability Coverage. Those attorneys could potentially be held liable by the district for not giving them adequate/correct advice.

    Most interesting to me is that the district says it (first) “became aware” of the claims against Martin April 25, and relieved him of duty. He was arrested on June 29. One day later, on July 1 the district suddenly had a new policy with a new company for Liability Coverage.

    But did/does the district have the ‘correct’ coverage?

    Did the prior policy not cover sexual misconduct? Does the new policy cover sexual misconduct? Will it fully cover us if they determine that the district only added the coverage AFTER it realized it would need that specific certificate of coverage (in which case the new insurer could refuse to cover the Martin case and claim fraud against the district for not disclosing a current/potential claim?)

    It’s a really dirty mess from all sides.

    We need to see the old Professional Liability policies from 2006 – 2013 AND the new policy. We’re paying for it.

    We need to see the Engagement Letter for Meyers Nave. We need to know if the insurance co did, in fact, dictate who we should hire for counsel–this issue is addressed at length in the article cited. Will MN be paid by the district or the insurance co.? Will the amount of their cost to defend cut into the amount of coverage insurance available to either settle or pay for loss in the law suit(s)?

    We really have a right to know. And shouldn’t have to wait for the years it might actually take to finalize this case.

    Speaking of settlements and final costs—I am not aware of any PRA requests for this type of record, however the amount spent each year (in total) should be a separate line item in the cost accounts and budgets of the district.

    At $30K a month, ($100K per year more than we paid Rockin’ Rolen) it seems we should be able to get a decent legal department AUDIT out of Ms. Williams and her employer.

  25. Doctor J Says:

    If district leadership had knowledge of potential claims for several years, each policy may be invalid for failure to disclose potential claims. You can’t get into an auto accident and then run over to the insurance agent and get insurance to cover the crash !

  26. g Says:

    Here’s a good example. It wasn’t about child molestation, but rather about a school board trying to cover-up a little bit of theft ($250K), over a number of years, by an Asst Supt/business manager. By the time it was exposed, and five insurers refused to pay “due to delay of reporting potential claims”, the district discovered the loss was really over $11 million and involved a half dozen people in cahoots–including their Audit firm and their well loved, long time Supt. Fun read:

  27. g Says:

    And the follow up– Part of the plea deal was testifying against family that hadn’t been known to be involved. Namely the Asst. Supt’s son, whom she had given a District Credit Card!

    Does our current board or district staff have anything they might want to disclose about the prior board, the Supt. the Gen Counsel, prior Asst. Supt., validation of suspicions reported by staff? Hmmmmm.

  28. anonymous Says:

    G @15, you write “If so, hopefully they will start with Juhl-Darlington, and then look closely at Peter Bonis’ court performances of the last few years”

    In reference to M J-D, you might find this interesting reading:

  29. anonymous Says:

    G@15, and here’s what is pending in special education litigation:

    No district can avoid special ed litigation, but according to the decision above, there are deficiencies in the sped deparmtent requiring mediation.

  30. anonymous Says:

    Link in @29 doesn’t work: 7 cases in litigation:

    1. Case Number : 2013070007 Hearing Type : Hearing
    Agency Name : Department of Education – Special Education Division
    Case Name : Student Judge Assigned to Hearing : Castillo, Peter-Paul
    School District : Mt. Diablo Unified S.D.
    Assigned Office : Sacramento (SE) Date : Oct 01, 2013 9:30 AM

    2. Case Number : 2013080533 Hearing Type : Hearing
    Agency Name : Department of Education – Special Education Division
    Case Name : Student Judge Assigned to Hearing : Unassigned
    School District : Mt. Diablo Unified S.D.
    Assigned Office : Sacramento (SE) Date : Oct 03, 2013 9:30 AM

    3.Case Number : 2013080668 Hearing Type : Hearing
    Agency Name : Department of Education – Special Education Division
    Case Name : Student Judge Assigned to Hearing : Unassigned
    School District : Mt. Diablo Unified S.D.
    Assigned Office : Sacramento (SE) Date : Oct 10, 2013 9:30 AM

    4. Case Number : 2013080665 Hearing Type : Hearing

    Case Number : 2013080176 Hearing Type : Hearing
    Agency Name : Department of Education – Special Education Division
    Case Name : Student Judge Assigned to Hearing : Unassigned
    School District : Mt. Diablo Unified S.D.
    Assigned Office : Sacramento (SE) Date : Oct 14, 2013 1:30 PM

    Assigned Office : Sacramento (SE) Date : Oct 15, 2013 9:00 AM

    5. Case Number : 2013080695 Hearing Type : Hearing
    Agency Name : Department of Education – Special Education Division
    Case Name : Student Judge Assigned to Hearing : Unassigned
    School District : Mt. Diablo Unified S.D.
    Assigned Office : Sacramento (SE) Date : Oct 15, 2013 9:30 AM

    6. Case Number : 2013020784 Hearing Type : Hearing
    Agency Name : Department of Education – Special Education Division
    Case Name : Student Judge Assigned to Hearing : Johnson, Deidre L.
    School District : Mt. Diablo Unified S.D.
    Assigned Office : Sacramento (SE) Date : Oct 22, 2013 9:30 AM

    7. Case Number : 2013070360 Hearing Type : Hearing
    Agency Name : Department of Education – Special Education Division
    Case Name : Student Judge Assigned to Hearing : Broussard, Margaret
    School District : Mt. Diablo Unified S.D.
    Assigned Office : Sacramento (SE) Date : Oct 29, 2013 9:30 AM

  31. Doctor J Says:

    Deficiencies in SPED ? Here is the Judge’s description of Dr. Carolyn Patton & Company: “As established by Factual Findings 5 through 102, and Legal Conclusions 4 through 25, the failure of District’s staff to know, understand and apply the special education laws applicable to the special education assessment timelines, including the timely holding of an IEP team meeting to review the assessment, were significant in this case.”
    The Judge did not mince words about Dr. Carolyn Patton’s staff: “Here, District’s special education staff, including administrators, have overall
    displayed a significant lack of knowledge of the laws pertaining to a special education assessment and the applicable timelines for holding an IEP team meeting to review the assessment. Mr. Cassin gave no thought to the applicable requirements, failed to schedule
    deadlines, and failed to explain the deadlines to the special education school site personnel who took over Student’s case and should have scheduled Student’s IEP team meeting. Even the RSP management staff thought starting over with an SST meeting was appropriate. Staff ignored the requirements to convene an IEP team meeting by making unilateral decisions predetermining, in the absence of an IEP team meeting, to seek further information. Their use of a PWN to refuse to convene an IEP team meeting until Parent agreed to a new assessment plan was egregious.”
    Besides the District being required to reimburse the parent a ton of money, here is what the Judge also ordered our esteemed SPED department to do:
    “5. As a further equitable remedy, District shall fund and provide at least four
    hours of mandatory training to all special education and ADR administrators on the legal
    requirements and timelines for scheduling and delivering assessment plans and scheduling
    and holding IEP team meetings to review the assessments. This training shall be completed
    within 60 school days of the date of this Decision. In addition, District may fund and provide this training to appropriate special education staff. District shall provide written proof of compliance with this training order to Student on request.”
    Then look at the long line of cases pending against the district [post 29] — no wonder we spend so much in attorney fees to Rolen’s buddies.

  32. Doctor J Says:

    The Judge calling SPED staff’s actions “egregious”. What are Bryan Cassin’s job descriptions: “Administrator, Special
    Education – Dispute
    Local Mediation
    California Department of
    Education (CDE) Compliance
    Non Public School (NPS)
    Non Public Agencies (NPA)”

  33. anonymous Says:

    @32, Cassin is in charge of all the NPS placements. You can let you mind fill in some gaps, as I am limited to what I can say here, but there is much more about Bryan Cassin and his shenanigans that should be reviewed from a personnel perspective. He was deeply involved with “the departed” and was complict in the nasty departure of Mildred Browne. Hopefully Dr. Nellie will take a look at him and others.

  34. anonymous Says:

    @32, I am limited on what I can say here, but, Cassin is responsible as the IEP team case manager for offering nonpublic school placements to the district’s special education students who cannot be served in District programs based on their needs. You will have to fill in the blanks on this based on previous blogs complaining about nps placements. Based on what I know I believe Cassin was complicit in Browne’s nasty departure. I believe he should be removed as a program manager for many unethical actions I cannot discuss in this forum, but which I believe should be reviewed as a personnel matter. I hope the new superintendent will be looking more closely at all departments, including what has gone in special education.

  35. anonymous Says:

    @32, sorry for the double post-but as you are close follower of the goings on at Dent, I think you get my drift…

  36. Doctor J Says:

    The Judge’s comment about Cassin was an indictment of his lack of competence or intentional violation of the student’s rights. “Mr. Cassin gave no thought to the applicable requirements, failed to schedule deadlines, and failed to explain the deadlines to the special education school site personnel who took over Student’s case and should have scheduled Student’s IEP team meeting.” Why can’t I find any listing for Carolyn Patton on the Special Education page ?

  37. Anontoo Says:

    @32, Bryan Cassin is in charge of placing MDUSD special education students in nonpublic schools. In other words, he decides what students get to go to a nonpublic school, and which one’s don’t. (As a close follower of what has gone on in special ed at Dent for the last two years, I think you get my drift…..) He has a lot of power. He close to Lawrence/Rolen and I believe he was involved in the nasty departure of Mildred Browne. His conduct should be reviewed as a personnel matter. Hopefully Dr. Meyer will take a close look at his job performance and that of others.

  38. Anonymous Says:

    Something odd is going with the website today; submitted posts show as not posted, and then later show as posted….odd

  39. Anonymous Says:

    @36, she was listed previoulsy:

    Special Education Transportation:

    Carolyn Patton, Administrator

    From the current organization chart online it looks like her position is vacant.

  40. Theresa Harrington Says:

    I had a lengthy interview with Dr. Meyer today and mentioned that many people have left the special ed dept. She expressed an interest in attending as many CAC meetings as possible.

  41. Doctor J Says:

    @#39 If Carolyn Patton has left the district, her name does not show up on any Board agenda as “resigned” or any other designation. JBM may be holding out on us again like she did with MB.

  42. Theresa Harrington Says:

    It looks like she’s in Benicia now:

  43. Doctor J Says:

    From the Benicia Herald June 16: “The other new hire, Dr. Carolyn Patton, replaces Dr. Linda Cole, who recently retired from her position as director of special services.
    Patton comes from Mt. Diablo Unified School District, where she was administrator of special education.
    “Dr. Patton also comes with glowing recommendations,” Adams said. “The people that she works with don’t want her to leave.”
    Patton said when Adams called to offer her the position, “I told her, ‘You just offered me my dream job.’”
    Though she appreciated her time in the Mt. Diablo district, which is much larger than the Vacaville district she formerly worked at, “what I missed the most was the connection with the community,” Patton said. “I am looking forward to being back in a smaller district, and in a district that values education.”’

  44. Doctor J Says:

    I rechecked all the agenda items from June forward, and her name does not appear under certificated personnel action.

  45. Doctor J Says:

    @TH#40 When are you going to share ? 🙂

  46. Theresa Harrington Says:

    I’m hoping to write a story next week. For tomorrow, I’m just doing a story about the Wednesday meeting.

    Regarding Patton, here’s what Julie Braun-Martin wrote in an e-mail:

    “Yes, she resigned over the summer and it went to the board.”

    I asked when it went to the board, but haven’t heard back.

  47. Wait a Minute Says:


    It looks to me like JBM is straight up lying.

    I wonder if Dr Nellie is going to tolerate this kind of dishonesty from JBM and others in the Dent?

  48. g Says:

    Is there any question of mere coincidence?: Lawrence/Rolen/Board ask for FCMAT to do a study on SpEd and Transportation at the same time–with an eye to slashing both–and no question there was a bit of bickering over the final document; with that report quickly followed by a questionable (perhaps even nefarious) shake-up in SpEd leadership; re-re-reboundary studies; refusal of PRA requests; secret, expensive termination deals; hiring of a new SpEd leader who had just very successfully completed a slash and burn assignment down south; massive turnover in SpEd; hiring of a new transportation (interim) who also managed slash and burn tactics at his last two jobs; all this while SpEd and IEP oversight personnel showed their real talent for — incompetence.

    I’m sure I’ve overlooked a few pertinent things that have happened in the last year. Feel free to add some — or set me straight.

  49. g Says:

    WAM @47; don’t forget there were a ton of closed session ‘dismissal/release’ items in May (and before and after) that had nothing to do with Lawrence/Rolen or normal attrition.

  50. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Here’s my story on Wednesday’s MDUSD meeting:

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