Vranesh removed as principal of Walnut Grove Elementary

Board finds 'merit to complaints'

In a marathon closed session that lasted nearly eight hours, the Pleasanton School Board decided Wednesday to replace Jon Vranesh and name a new principal at Walnut Grove Elementary School.

In a statement after the closed session meeting ended at 3:15 a.m. Wednesday, School Board President Jamie Hintzke said: "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."

The board also directed Superintendent Parvin Ahmadi to replace Vranesh.

Board member Valerie Arkin voted against the action.

"There was not a dismissal or any disciplinary action," said Vranesh's attorney, H. Paul Kondrick. "We don't have a next step."

With the search for a new principal underway, it is uncertain whether Vranesh's paid administrative leave will continue without resolution. Board and district officials were not available to comment on how the district will proceed.

Updates will be posted as information becomes available.


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Posted by Chris
a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Dec 18, 2013 at 9:38 pm

Walnut grove wil never be the same. Jon is a good man that was only doing his job. To date no report has been produced by the district addressing his concerns that was submitted months ago. The district has failed in doing their job in supporting their administrators. I think this issue clearly shows some real problems with the PUSD. I hope more light will be shed to help clarify why this took so long, what the allegation was, and by whom

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Posted by WG
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 18, 2013 at 10:22 pm

Actually, Walnut Grove is always the same. Two decades ago, female teachers at Walnut Grove tried to ruin the career of male 2nd grade teacher Jim Fields by claiming he called females the "b****" word. It was all over the newspapers then when he was running against Becky Dennis for city council.

History repeats itself.

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Posted by Walnut Grove Mom
a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Dec 18, 2013 at 10:42 pm

My family is very sad Principal Vranesh won't be returning to Walnut Grove. We'll miss his positive outlook on life and words of inspiration.

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Posted by WG
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 18, 2013 at 11:05 pm

THe persecution of Vranesh by Team Ahmadi has been similar to the Mary Frances Callan (the Supt of PUSD before Casey, but even still far, better than Ahmadi) "Former principal says his departure mirrors current controversy" reported by Pleasanton Weekly's sister publication the Palo Alto Weekly Web Link .

The steps are these:

1. District hires a rent-a-cop law firm to do an 'investigation' by someone like Lozano Smith (sanctioned by judge for ethics violations) or in PUSD's case, Kingsley.

2. They then do some ridiculous bogus report talking about 'stares' or some other thing that states the union staff at the school feel 'intimidated' by principal. (Yup, that smiling and friendly Vranesh, at about 5' 6" - 5' 8" tall, is certainly intimidating with a capital I, yes :-) )

In Callan's case in PUSD, the principals rallied against her unfair leadership and led a revolt against her and ousted her and demanded her resignation -- Web Link

The 48 principals and vice principals documented their mistrust, organized, and sent a letter to Callan indicating they were going to work their hardest to oust her. Web Link

Callan was ousted.

It's time PUSD's principals and vice principals do the same, or guess what, you will be next on Ahmadi's list to go.

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Posted by Sarah
a resident of Las Positas
on Dec 18, 2013 at 11:10 pm

I think something is terribly wrong in the city of Pleasanton.

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Posted by John
a resident of Birdland
on Dec 19, 2013 at 12:15 am

WG will be a better place. All he did for me was block one side of the driveway and cause more traffic. And for my kids he didn't do anything. If he is such a great guy then he will speak up and tell us why. You should know why so stop defending and pretending.

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Posted by WG
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 19, 2013 at 12:33 am

I don't expect a lot of new K students will be going to WG next year. Already parents of new K students in WG are planning to open enroll to Alisal or surrounding schools. With reduced new enrollment at that school and transfers out to other schools, it would not be surprising if WG teachers who have been pawns of the District will be laid off.

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Posted by Anon
a resident of Birdland
on Dec 19, 2013 at 2:57 am

Support the good teachers, and Principal V!!!

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Posted by parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 19, 2013 at 7:00 am

My advice to every administrator in this town is get your resume ready. You need to be afraid, be very afraid!

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Posted by Another WG Parent
a resident of Birdland
on Dec 19, 2013 at 7:09 am

Reposting from another thread...

During my Nov. parent conference, my child's teacher acknowledged the low morale and apparent toxicity brought about by the situation. She assured me that there are still many teachers in WG who do their best to teach the children and not let the situation affect them. As long as they have jurisdiction over the four corners of their classrooms, it is good teaching and learning as usual for these good teachers and the kids. And I believe her as I see how my child loves her class and how she is learning cutting-edge and motivating lessons.

I continue to support the good teachers at WG, and there are still many of them. I will not let this situation affect my overall high regard for WG.

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Posted by chris
a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Dec 19, 2013 at 7:10 am

How can a coalition be formed to get rid of these people in the PUSD? Who is above them that can investigate this situation and determine what they've been up to? I think some of the info they aren't sharing can be obtained by filing a formal request by the freedom of information act. I believe that if it can be proven that they willingly and knowingly manipulated the facts to remove JV, then they can be help personably liable, and the district is financially off the hook.

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Posted by Was at meeting
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Dec 19, 2013 at 7:50 am

It was a travesty. After 10 weeks of paying an investigator, the investigator never spoke with Mr. Vranesh as part of the "investigation"! Really? Isn't an investigator supposed to try to get ALL the facts? Not just the facts that support the conclusion the district has already decided to make? Mr. Vranesh got 2 hours to give his side of the story at the special board meeting, on the day that the vote/decision was made after hours of investigation, conversation, discussion building a case against him by petty teachers who finally were not getting their way. Sorry, but I would believe Mr. Vranesh with a stellar 13 year record over a handful of teachers at a school known for having difficult prima donna teachers (not all, but a handful is enough to be worried about). Yep...admins be very scared - you do not have the support of your district office. The board and district office are firmly in the clutches of the teachers' union. If I had an incoming Kindergartner, I would open enroll to another close by school for next year. Toxic is a good word. Way to go Mrs. have gone up leaps and bounds in my opinion.

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Posted by Enough
a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Dec 19, 2013 at 8:42 am

Please stop all of these toxic comments; our community has suffered enough without tearing it apart further.

The WG teachers and staff care tremendously for our students, and I am thankful for all of their efforts to put the children first. Thank you, WG teachers and staff, for soldiering on during this difficult period in our school. Please know that there are many of us parents who support you and who do not believe that you would gang up on a principal with unfounded accusations just to tear him down.

We wish that the school district was able to release more details so that everyone could form opinions on facts, rather than rumors. Unfortunately, at this point, I am doubtful that any report or details would be sufficient to appease the individuals who have already determined that there is a conspiracy at hand.

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Posted by chris
a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Dec 19, 2013 at 8:53 am

@ enough
The community won't allow the minority of a couple teachers or the union to bully us. Each day we decide what we stand for. Allowing a witch hunt to happen like this is despicable. And shame on the teachers at WG that didn't stand up for JV knowing the allegations were not accurate.

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Posted by I
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 19, 2013 at 10:37 am

Did it ever occur to you that maybe just maybe JV made his own bed and is now sleeping in it? I know you are convinced that all teachers are satanic worshipers; Perhaps you deserved that detention that drives your finger pointing. You like JV should consider showing some character and own up to your part. Maybe the teacher was picking on you, but you created the opening. Maybe there is a witch hunt but JV slipped up. Time to move on. The unfortunate outcome of this, is there are administrators that need ousting for performance reasons, and the district has too little spine to act on them.

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