After principal’s firing, parents consider no-confidence vote for board
Some parents in the Pleasant Valley Elementary School District are considering a vote of no-confidence in the district’s board after trustees unanimously voted to fire a principal last week.
The board and district administration were blasted at a parent meeting this week for not including them in the decision to fire Clint Johnson, an 8-year principal at Pleasant Valley School. The Penn Valley school has 340 students in fourth through eighth grade.
Both trustees and administrators maintain the move was a personnel matter, and they are barred by law from discussing the issue in public.
While he still is waiting for the district to provide him with a written reason for his firing, Johnson said he’s anxious for parents and the district to move on and to focus on the future of the school and its students. He will serve out the school year as the school’s principal.
Parent Kari Stehmeyer, who helped to organize a meeting Tuesday night in Lake Wildwood, said students have begun to circulate a petition for Johnson’s reinstatement.
The consensus of the informal meeting was that parents wanted the district to notify them more effectively when big decisions, such as the Johnson firing, are on the agenda.
“We want to promote positive communication between the district and the parents, because we know more big and potentially painful decisions are coming,” Stehmeyer said. Parents also spoke in support of Johnson, Stehmeyer said, and some are looking at the possibility of casting a vote of no-confidence in the current board.
None of the district’s board members attended the meeting, said board clerk Tina Skrukrud.
The district is committed to bringing parents into the process to hire a replacement for Johnson and for Williams Ranch Elementary principal Karen Chizek, Skrukrud said. Chizek, who is serving in an interim role at the district’s K-3 school after coming out of retirement mid-year, plans to return to retirement after the school year.
The board is hosting two upcoming budget workshops at 6:30 p.m. March 31 and April 12 in the Williams Ranch School Library, when they will discuss replacement plans for both principals.
A variety of options are being considered, said Superintendent Debra Sandoval, including possibly splitting an administrator across the campuses, or employing one full- and one part-time principal to oversee the schools.
Parent suggestions will play a strong factor in the final decision, Skrukrud said.
Options for the replacements are expected to be presented to the board at its 6:30 p.m. meeting April 13.
To contact Staff Writer Kyle Magin, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call (530) 477-4239.
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