News


Jon Vranesh appointed 'itinerant principal'

New responsibilities unknown

Former Walnut Grove Principal Jon Vranesh is not out of a job, but it remains unclear what he'll be doing in his new position.

The school board voted last month to hire a new principal at Walnut Grove and left Vranesh on paid leave.

That changed Tuesday night. However, the change in title and responsibilities might have slipped through the cracks if not noticed by Sharrell Michelotti, one of Vranesh's supporters and a family friend.

It was in a personnel document and included as part of the board's consent agenda, in which a list of items is voted on as a whole and without discussion. Vranesh's name was listed in the document as a personnel change from K-5 principal to "itinerant principal."

The personnel document, which is only a part of the consent agenda and lists several items, was removed from the consent agenda at the request of board member Valerie Arkin. She voted against approval of the personnel document Tuesday because it included a change in Vranesh's job title.

"We collectively felt, based on the recommendation of the superintendent (Parvin) Ahmadi, that we find a role where he could contribute to the district and be successful," said board member Chris Grant after the board meeting.

Michelotti, who spotted the change in Vranesh's job title, asked the board what that meant.

"It would be helpful to the public to understand what 'itinerant' means," said Michelotti. "This position is a completely new position."

Ahmadi was unable to specify what Vranesh's new responsibilities would be, saying they'd be generally the same as any other principal. His new responsibilities, she said, would include "working with different departments in the district."

She could not be reached after the meeting for additional details.

Bill Faraghan, assistant superintendent of human resources, described the job of an itinerant principal as "doing a variety of tasks in a number of different school sites instead of just one."

Michelotti also questioned how much having an itinerant principal would cost the district.

"What is the fiscal impact of that, and how is it going to play out in the future?" she asked. "It has to affect the finances in the district."

Late Wednesday, the district confirmed that Vranesh will receive the same pay as itinerant principal that he did at Walnut Grove.

Vranesh's attorney, Paul Kondrick, said he was not told Vranesh was up for discussion by the school district.

"We were unaware of any agenda item. We received no notice of the school board agenda," Kondrick said. "We'd always received a written notice under the ed (education) code of any action taken about him."

Kondrick is also unsure of what Vranesh's new job would be.

"I think I've heard of itinerant farmers before," Kondrick said. "I don't think that position existed beforehand."

But, Kondrick said, Vranesh "is going to go there and he's going to do what he's told to do."

Arkin was the lone vote opposing Vranesh's removal as principal of Walnut Grove. He was placed on administrative leave Oct. 25 for alledgedly creating a hostile work environment. Documents obtained by the Pleasanton Weekly indicate complaints against him include that he used expletives referring to female employees and that he created a hostile work environment.

Kondrick has said that Vranesh, under penalty of perjury, has denied those claims.

A permanent replacement for Vranesh has yet to be named at Walnut Grove, although the district posted the new position last month at the request of the board.

Counting Vranesh, seven principals have left the district's 16 schools over the last year, including principals at Walnut Grove, Donlon and Mohr elementary schools, all three high schools, and Pleasanton Middle School.

Comments

Posted by JANE, a resident of Del Prado
on Jan 30, 2014 at 8:52 am

THIS IS THE STUPEST WAY TO HANDLE SOMETHING YOU ARE TRYING TO HIDE!


Posted by Kim, a resident of Birdland
on Jan 30, 2014 at 9:03 am

So he's being paid for doing nothing. Will remember this when the next bond request/demand comes around


Posted by Whata Farce, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2014 at 9:04 am

People's confidence in the Superintendent and the School Board is dropping like a rock. Their handling of this matter is a comedy of stupidity - only its not funny. Recall has to be seriously considered. And most definitely the Superintendent needs to be sacked for cause - no future payments on her contract.


Posted by Citizen, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2014 at 9:09 am

The school board is really stinking up the town!! Time for recall!!


Posted by mooseturd, a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jan 30, 2014 at 9:09 am

mooseturd is a registered user.

I would imagine that his duties include making copies and running the shredder.


Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill
on Jan 30, 2014 at 9:20 am

I've been neutral on this controversy, but now it's really getting silly. An "itinerant principal"? Basically, the name means "traveling Principal". What kind of bogus, made-up position is that? And at the same pay as a regular principal? Either appoint him as a (regular) principal or dismiss him.

I don't know whether Vranesh is innocent or guilty of the charges. But regardless of whether he innocent or guilty it is clear that this Ahmadi is completely botching things up.


Posted by Chops, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2014 at 9:23 am

keeping him itinerant makes sense. Settling in or out of court would have cost PUSD $$$$$$$. Paying Vranesh $$$ in the meantime or until he lands another principal spot here, or elsewhere, is simple business.

And kudos to PUSD in furthering my vocabulary today: intinerant!


Posted by concerned, a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jan 30, 2014 at 9:55 am

Sounds to me like he is innocent and the district cannot prove cause and cannot back down. If the superintendent and Faragan and Vranesh atty do not know what he will be doing we need to make some top level changes. How many new text books or class activities could have been added for what this has cost


Posted by Agree with concerned, a resident of Amador Estates
on Jan 30, 2014 at 10:14 am

I agree the longer this goes on the clearer it seems this is just a huge disaster! They clearly can't dismiss him which means they have removed a principal in good standing with the community, parents, students, and staff, judging from the teachers of PMS who signed a letter to the board. Turned poor Walnut Grove upside down over something that should have been handled in a different way! This is just nuts.


Posted by member, a resident of Oak Hill
on Jan 30, 2014 at 10:20 am

Wow.

It seems like the district leadership is fumbling this situation so horribly. I feel sorry for Pleasanton Unified.


Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill
on Jan 30, 2014 at 10:29 am

Chops wrote: "keeping him itinerant makes sense. Settling in or out of court would have cost PUSD $$$$$$$. Paying Vranesh $$$ in the meantime or until he lands another principal spot here, or elsewhere, is simple business."

Is the system really so broken that it is preferable to keep someone unwanted in a paid, apparently bogus position (i.e., "itinerant principal") than to simply dismiss the person? Can you imagine any business keeping an employee accused of serious wrongdoing around in a bogus position rather than simply dismiss the person? If creating bogus positions to take care of unwanted employees is the norm at PUSD, then I think that PUSD needs a total shakeup and a full accounting review.


Posted by E. Nuff, a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jan 30, 2014 at 10:34 am

It sounds like it's time to break up the current faculty, reassign them throughout the district to different schools and start all over again with a new faculty, staff, and principal. Teachers from within the district would have the option of joining the new team at WG, but they have got to break this mess up.

When the dust settles, heads should roll at the district office.


Posted by Steamed Home Owner, a resident of Laguna Oaks
on Jan 30, 2014 at 10:35 am

I have read other blogs where people state they are moving to San Ramon, Danville, or going to private schools. We shouldn't have to move or go private. When will the city wake up and help! The school district is vital to this city and our property values. I don't think the community should allow the failing of this districts leadership to take us down!


Posted by Best, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2014 at 10:42 am

All of this could have been settled were it not for the insanely tyrannical and corrupt teachers union. Do we want our union-tenured and corrupt teachers to reflect the pampered ones on the supreme court, or should they reflect the community made up of bartenders, mechanics, and other nonunionized real Americans?

And, no, I am NOT the guy who posted the first five comments. Honest!


Posted by gail, a resident of Del Prado
on Jan 30, 2014 at 10:53 am

This is insane! Is the PUSD afraid? Much more costly if they were sued.


Posted by notlaughing, a resident of Country Fair
on Jan 30, 2014 at 11:25 am

At the board meeting when Michellotti asked Parvin what an "Itinerant" principal would do she DIDN'T KNOW! So, you are appointing a principal to do something but you have no idea what it is?? Seriously, if a great man's life and reputation weren't on the line right now I would be laughing histerically at this debacle. It's getting embarassing to call PUSD our district. And, if Jon is so guilty of everything he is being "ACCUSED" of why don't they fire him? Because he's not guilty. I rest my case. To quote the infamous Cholo: "tee hee hee hee hee "


Posted by Td, a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Jan 30, 2014 at 11:35 am

PUSD is a hostile work environment for principals


Posted by SF, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2014 at 11:39 am

PUSD is a hostile student environment for children.

To think this all came about because the teachers who made up the accusations about JV wanted to pick the teacher themselves that their children would be assigned to at WG. Evil.

Ahmadi needs to resign or be fired.


Posted by Parent, a resident of Amador Estates
on Jan 30, 2014 at 11:40 am

Sam,
Can't dismiss for something he didn't do.


Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill
on Jan 30, 2014 at 12:01 pm

@Parent

I'm not taking sides on that. Some would disagree with your statement that he didn't do anything, though. Again, not taking sides, just stating the facts.


Posted by Lessismore , a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Jan 30, 2014 at 12:47 pm

Ahmadi and the school broad need to be replaced.

If we want to bring pressure stop giving money to the PTA'S, PPIE and so on.
Tell them why you are not giving.

This problem will be worst by the end of the year. How many principals do you think are looking for new jobs and how many recruiters are targeting our principals.



Posted by common sense, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2014 at 1:09 pm

Since Mr. Vranesh is allowed to stay on as a Traveling Principal it appears what he is being accused of is not that bad. I wonder if the teachers at Walnut Creek were polled and all felt he was being disruptive or if a few well-connected persons didn't care for his attitude.

Obviously the School District feels Mr Vranesh is basically not a disruptive Principal since they are now allowing him to work in all other Pleasanton school as a Principal when needed.


Posted by common sense, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2014 at 1:10 pm

Walnut Grove that is. lol


Posted by SF, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2014 at 1:33 pm

What this is basically saying is that this was an "Anatomy of a School Campus Coup," JV was removed from Walnut Grove without cause, he was pushed aside with no justification, and the move was not warranted.

If they can do it to the principal, they can do it to anybody.

And forget about hiring anyone decent to PUSD anymore because no one will want to work at PUSD. Would you?


Posted by Winston, a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Jan 30, 2014 at 2:06 pm

With the exception of the one trustee who refused to be a union robot, we need to fire the other four union-hugging board members, the PUSD hr dept, and the superintendent. Most folks by now have figured out that this was a teachers union coup against a well respected school principal. Because the principal has always put WG kids first. I have seen this foul play happen in private sector union shops, so no surprises here. Bogus charges, fabricated evidence, whispers and innuendo. No facts, no truth. The PUSD union is a dinosaur with backward reactionaries who care only about their perks, pay and pensions. Never the kids. Our city deserves a ton better than this.


Posted by Miscellaneous, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2014 at 2:07 pm

Chops, thank you for having a brain and using it. Come March when contracts are up for renewal, I know of one that is unlikely to be renewed. PUSD is just biding time. A rather cheap fix when compared to $500/hour lawyers.

Googling "itinerant" yielded some enlightening synonyms: vagabond, hobo, vagrant, tramp.


Posted by Teacher, a resident of another community
on Jan 30, 2014 at 2:21 pm

(Off topic)


Posted by POF, a resident of Rosewood
on Jan 30, 2014 at 3:46 pm

@ Teacher.... I think we see why JV is in his current circumstance ... .. And you want us to know your a venomous teacher. Perfect. Please keep showing yourself. The floor is yours. You want attention and now you have it.


Posted by Hmmmmm, a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Jan 30, 2014 at 3:50 pm

So my kid makes a mess and doesn't tell me. He doesn't clean it up right the first time and it causes a bigger mess. I can't ignore it and hope it goes away in time. The mess is still there. The longer it remains the more costly it is to clean up. I'm just sayin.....


Posted by POF, a resident of Rosewood
on Jan 30, 2014 at 3:52 pm

@ Teacher forgot to mention I know what a quality teacher looks like..... I was raised by one.


Posted by Female, a resident of Birdland
on Jan 30, 2014 at 5:03 pm

I'm assuming he has been placed in an all male environment and will only be at schools with 100% male teachers.


Posted by Google, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2014 at 5:48 pm

The Superintendent couldn't answer what JV was supposed to do? At some point, isn't she just embaressed to be quoted saying and doing such blatantly stupid things ? PUSD is getting expert, costly legal advice (at taxpayer expense, Ahmadi has her "cabinet" of high paid public officials who don't teach and have all day to have meetings and work on their hr strategies, and this is the best they can handle this aborted coup attempt? What possible excuse do they have for continually making jokes out of themselves and PUSD. Is PUSD really run by people so stupid ? Wow. That's probably why all the principals are leaving - they fear working in PUSD will ruin their resumes.


Posted by gail, a resident of Del Prado
on Jan 30, 2014 at 6:33 pm

The more I think about this "situation" the more unbelievable it is..what are the real charges? Someone's feelings got hurt?..Also kudos to Michelotti for speaking up and questioning those who are suppose to be in leadership roles..


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jan 30, 2014 at 6:47 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

This could quite possibly be temporary. I would have to do a public information request, but it is likely all principals have a one year contract. Notices that you will not enjoy a position in the coming school year (2014-15) go out March 15. So, this itinerant "we don't know what you will be doing" principal could get that notice. It's a guess, though.


Posted by SF, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2014 at 7:13 pm

Great job for Sharrell Michelotti completely calling Ahmadi on this.

Sounds like the low class and evil PUSD and the 4 board members didn't even tell Vranesh he was on the agenda. Given that they completely made up the bogus 'charges' it is not surprising they are too embarrassed to even contact Vranesh.

Regardless of the timing, either way, it is wrongful termination, defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, etc. etc. etc.

Can't wait for the lawsuit.


Posted by Brilliant plan, a resident of Hart Middle School
on Jan 30, 2014 at 8:04 pm

Dear Parvin: why of course it makes perfect sense that after accusing a man of creating a hostile work environment at his former campus, you would put him on the road to work with every school in the district. Brilliant plan.


Posted by Marvin, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2014 at 8:16 pm

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In this corner, we have all those who have a vendetta against the school district. Total number? One guy, posting under many different names.

And in the other corner, all those who love to gossip just for the sake of gossip, but it sure feels good when its about someone else! Total number? Lots.

And what are both sides commenting on? Only shadowy products culled by lotsa stunted imaginations. Lotsa hearsay, guesses, hunches, false assumptions and unfounded allegations. Way to go, everybody. Really doing Plutoniaville proud!


Posted by Pod2, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2014 at 8:43 pm

You would think that an institution such as a school district who is charged with an innocent agenda to educate our children would be as pure and innocent as the children they represent. Here is what seems to have happened at PUSD. Our board of trustees chose Ahmadi and charged her with the awesome responsibility to run the complex system without bias and/or political agenda. But instead of keeping their "hands on the wheel" they receded into a docile, capitulating posture. This left Ahmadi free to ally herself with the most threatening forces to her long term tenure as superintendent, namely "the unions". Are principals a threatening force? Of course not. It seems that the only mistake mr Vranesh made was to innocently step into a union bear trap issue involving one of their staff. And of course his supervisor, superintendent Ahmadi, must side with her allies.

Unfortunately, our trusted "trustees" have continued to support their superintendent and by so doing are nothing but a second level of union support. How obvious and how unfortunate for Mr Vranesh, his career and family.id


Posted by Pod2, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2014 at 8:51 pm

In my previous message above I neglected to point out that we do have one,only one, trustee that seems to be an independent thinker with the courage to step off the union train and vote with integrity and morals. That trustee is Ms Valarie Arkiin.


Posted by Marvin, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2014 at 8:56 pm

(Post removed)


Posted by Marvin, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2014 at 8:57 pm

(Post removed)


Posted by Hmmmmmmm, a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Jan 30, 2014 at 9:03 pm

(Post removed)


Posted by Sal, a resident of Downtown
on Jan 31, 2014 at 9:36 am

Sal is a registered user.

Here come the right-wing pitch forks (or maybe it is the same Fox News fan posting over and over). Who cares that we don't know all the details, lets spread rumor and form a mob. See, the conservatives in this town had it in for Ahmadi from the beginning. She doesn't fit their idea of a "real America" and isn't a Sarah Palin clone, so they want to go after her. Of course, they want to drag teacher's unions into this issue because of their white hot, cornpone hatred for unions of any kind. Lets facing it, Pleasanton is becoming more diverse and conservatives are a dying breed in this town and so they have to attach themselves the latest controversy in a feeble attempt to stay relevant. Pathetic!


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