Pleasanton Weekly

News - August 20, 2010

Schools, kids get set for return

New year brings changes in leadership

by Glenn Wohltmann

School doesn't start until Wednesday, but campuses across Pleasanton were humming this week with students and their parents, teachers and staff.

For some, this last week before returning to school was the last chance to sleep late or lounge by the pool on a weekday morning. For others, this week meant catching up on summer assignments they'd been putting off. And for many, the week meant getting back into the groove of school: band rehearsal, football training and cheerleader practice.

During registration at Amador Valley High, students were buzzing with anticipation at the prospect of going back, seeing friends and moving up a grade.

"All we have to do now is keep them this excited for the rest of the year," said Pleasanton School Superintendent Parvin Ahmadi who toured the school and met with incoming Principal Jim Hansen on Tuesday.

The school district won't have final numbers on student population until midweek, when it sorts out the students who have moved into or out of the area. The tentative figure is 14,870 -- up slightly from 2009-10.

"Based on the numbers we've had so far, we've had to add a number of staff," Ahmadi said.

The summer has brought many changes to the Pleasanton Unified School District. Ahmadi began her first year as superintendent July 1.

Jim Hansen, the former principal at Harvest Park Middle School, has replaced Bill Coupe, Jr., the longtime Amador Valley High principal who retired. The principal's position at Harvest Park has been filled by Ken Rocha, who was a vice principal at the school. Ben Fobert, former Amador Valley High vice principal, is now the principal at Mohr Elementary.

Retirements also have meant new principals at Donlon Elementary and Hart Middle School.

Barbara Heisser will step in as Donlon's principal, succeeding Marc Schweitzer. Until now, Heisser has been splitting her time as vice principal at Donlon and Lydiksen Elementary.

Terry Conde, who had served as vice principal at Hart Middle School, has been promoted to principal, replacing Steve Maher.

Lisa Hague will move from being a teacher at Pleasanton Middle School to its vice principal, after Aileen Parsons, who was vice principal, accepted a position as principal in the Dublin Unified School District.

There are still two vice principal positions in the process of being filled. These are at Amador Valley High, replacing Ben Fobert, and at Hart Middle School, replacing Terry Conde.

Some of the moves won't be official until the next Pleasanton School Board meeting, which is scheduled for Monday.

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