Concerns again expressed over principal changes

June 15, 2005
Santa Paula News

Trustees of the Santa Paula Elementary School Board have again heard concerns from the community over principal reassignments at several schools.

By Brian D. WilsonSanta Paula TimesTrustees of the Santa Paula Elementary School Board have again heard concerns from the community over principal reassignments at several schools.The board heard similar comments at last month’s meeting. Pam Oliver, a Bedell School parent expressed her concerns regarding the reassignment of Lori Sanchez to Barbara Webster School. “We as parents are our children’s voice and we’d like you to take to heart their concerns as far as another principal being brought into our school,” she told the board. Patti Fullbright, who is leaving her position in the district office as Director of Human Resources, is replacing Sanchez.Tommy Frutos, the Barbara Webster Outreach Consultant, talked about his concerns regarding what he called a communications breakdown in the selection process. “The communications breakdown was that the appointment happened without any involvement from the community itself,” Frutos said. Barbara Webster has had three principals in less than a year. “I don’t think that’s fair,” he added. “The kids deserve that stability.”
The interim principal at Barbara Webster, Marisella Favila, is being reassigned to Grace Thille. James Medina recently resigned as principal at Grace Thille.Ilda Rodriguez, the Barbara Webster Office Manager, told the board that if they extended the Superintendent’s contract for the sake of stability, shouldn’t the school sites deserve the same consideration? She urged the board to carefully reconsider the decision in the best interest of the school.Tracy Pointer, who also spoke last month, again urged the board to reconsider. She noted that a petition with over 200 signatures in support of Sanchez had been turned in previously.The board took all the comments prior to their 5:00 p.m. closed session. The board reconvened for their regular session at 6:46 p.m. Carolyn Ishida, President of the Santa Paula Federation of Teachers, was concerned that the board heard pubic comments at the earlier session without public comment being listed on the agenda at that time. Ishida said that by allowing a group of people with a special interest to address the board prior to closed session, the board might have violated the Brown Act. She reminded the board they couldn’t change the agenda or add to the agenda unless it is properly posed in advance.

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