News

Vranesh removed as Walnut Grove principal

School Board finds "merit" to complaints against him; seeking a replacement

In a marathon closed session that lasted nearly eight hours, the Pleasanton school board decided to replace Jon Vranesh as principal of Walnut Grove Elementary School.

In a statement made at 3:15 a.m. yesterday after the closed session meeting, Board President Jamie Hintzke reported:

"In closed session by a 4 to 1 vote, the board found merit to complaints filed against an administrator of the district. The Board has directed the superintendent to issue a written decision to the parties in this matter."

Board member Valerie Arkin voted against the action.

In a statement to Walnut Grove Elementary parents released Wednesday, Superintendent Parvin Ahmadi wrote:

"In a 4-1 vote, the board found merit to complaints against an administrator. The board instructed the superintendent to issue a written decision to the parties in this matter, and directed that a future meeting include an item on appointing a new principal of Walnut Grove Elementary School.

"We remain very limited in our ability to discuss this case publicly, but I wanted you to be aware of the results of last night's meeting, which lasted late into the night. Personnel matters take time and involve numerous measures to protect the privacy of those who file complaints and those who are the subject of complaints."

"There was not a dismissal or any disciplinary action," said

Vranesh's attorney H. Paul Kondrick said after the closed-door meeting: "We don't have a next step."

With the search for a new principal underway, is it unclear whether Vranesh's paid administrative leave will continue without resolution. Board and district officials did not return phone calls for comment and have not released any statement regarding how the matter will be resolved.

Because this is a developing story, updates will be available at PleasantonWeekly.com.

Comments

Posted by Troubling, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 19, 2013 at 9:05 am

This whole secrecy thing is a crock. Parents will probably never know why the principal was removed. Since it has been rumored that the district was trying to bury safety issues, they had better present ample evidence to put those concerns to rest. If they can't do that, that an appropriate action would be to recall the current school board.


Posted by local, a resident of Birdland
on Dec 19, 2013 at 9:12 am

Not sure if the article is wrong but they are required by the Brown Act to vote on this in an open session. The article says this was voted upon in the closed session which would be a violation of the Brown Act. They can discuss this in closed session but the final vote has to be in public. They do not have to discuss the details in the open session, just like they do not name the students who are being expelled.

If they actually did that, they are in real trouble and would have to remedy the illegal action, which could mean the vote to remove him would be invalid and they just can't hold the same vote again at this time. BTW, this would not be the first time the school district had a vote in closed session that is illegal but in this case the implications are huge.


Posted by School Marm, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Dec 19, 2013 at 10:11 am

Where can I get a job that pays my full salary without my having to work?


Posted by Just saying, a resident of Amador Estates
on Dec 19, 2013 at 10:13 am

If what Mr. Vranesh is so wrong, why wasn't he immediately fired? Sounds as though they aren't making a quick decision because he didn't necessarily do something wrong.


Posted by Parent, a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Dec 19, 2013 at 10:23 am

Nice job APT! Way to exemplify all that is wrong with teachers unions! Be proud.


Posted by local, a resident of Birdland
on Dec 19, 2013 at 10:37 am

This is what happens when the community does not get involved at election time. In order to have a truly functioning system, you cannot have board members who just rubber-stamp the administration. You are essentially throwing away your right for representation.

I hope this is a wake-up call for members of the community to get two new board members at next year's election who will run to represent the community and not represent the administration, or the unions. As a long time member of this community, it saddens me to see what is happening to what was once a great, model school district.

I would recommend those who are willing to run and represent the community to get your names known shortly through advocacy in letters to the editor and attending board meetings. The current members of the school board just opened with door wide open with their actions and they deserved to be replaced.


Posted by Shelby, a resident of Ruby Hill
on Dec 19, 2013 at 10:55 am

Could someone just please explain to me and the rest of us EXACTLY WHY he got fired? This just doesn't make any sense and the article should have explained why he was? I remembered not liking him when I was in middle school but there has to be something he did "wrong".


Posted by eat, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 19, 2013 at 11:53 am

eat is a registered user.

Here's some advice for Pleasanton Weekly and/or concerned members of the public that will enable TRANSPARENCY in our town government: Immediately file a Freedom of Information Act requesting all emails and written correspondence regarding the employment/termination of Mr. Vranesh and specify dates. Make sure you include the names of each and every Board Member and Superintendent. All public-issued emails should be included, and if any Board Member is using their personal email to conduct business on the public's behalf, that should be included as well. This is UNACCEPTABLE. The public has a right to know what is going on, and if the Board of Education and Superintendent will not provide it, then it will have to be done through other LEGAL means.



Posted by eat, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 19, 2013 at 12:10 pm

eat is a registered user.

Also, someone needs to request a copy of the "final action" . According to Brown Act, this does not neccesarily lie with the Superintendent's responsibility.

If the Board of Education refuses, then file a complaint with the Attorney General regarding the Brown Act violation:


"CLOSED MEETING ACTIONS/DOCUMENTS:
At an open session following a closed session, the body must report on final action taken in closed session under specified circumstances. Where final action is taken with respect to contracts, settlement agreements and other specified records, the public may receive copies of such records upon request."

Web Link


Posted by Gina Channell-Allen, president of the Pleasanton Weekly
on Dec 19, 2013 at 2:28 pm

Gina Channell-Allen is a registered user.

eat, et. al,
I did a Records Request last month and we are sifting through the information so we can post a more complete story this afternoon.

Yesterday I submitted a request for all documents pertaining to the removal of Jon Vranesh as the principal of Walnut Grove, including the investigator's report. The district has 10 days to respond.


Posted by Registered Joe, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 19, 2013 at 3:23 pm

Registered Joe is a registered user.

The withholding of information is something that each of us would demand if we were in Mr. Vranesh's position. This is first and foremost a personnel issue, and not only is he entitled to confidentiality, the school district is obligated to provide it.

Do you think that the school board wants all the negative publicity? They are getting lambasted twice - once for having the personnel issue with one its principals, and once for dealing with it in the manner prescribed by law. Stop blaming the board for doing its job.

Also get use to the fact that, even with FOI requests and responses, the public will never know the true details. FOI doesn't apply to the details of personnel issues.


Posted by eat, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 19, 2013 at 5:03 pm

eat is a registered user.

Not so fast Registered Joe. There is precedence in the courts that differentiate from what items constitute a personnel file and have previously ruled in the media's favor. in other words the Board can't simply state that this is a personnel matter when actually court cases have already established what items are considered personnel related such as a resume. I believe that the pleasanton weekly is already taking a proactive step in finding out their ability to pursue truth in this matter.see the legal reference previously established: Web Link


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