Parent meeting at Donlon Elementary at 5:30 p.m. following principal's sudden resignation

School district leaders to brief public on principal selection process

A meeting will be held at Donlon Elementary School tonight to brief parents and student guardians on plans to replace principal Lynnette Chirrick, who announced Thursday that she has quit her position for a job at the city of Alameda's Unified School District.

The meeting will be held at the Donlon library, 4150 Dorman Road on Monday at 5:30 p.m.

Chirrick has been the principal at Donlon since 2013. She previously worked in the Ceres Unified School District, has served as an elementary vice principal and has taught second and third grade.

Chirrick announced the career move in a newsletter to Donlon students' families.

"While I am excited to be working closer to my home, I will sincerely miss working with all of you and your children," she wrote in the newsletter.

During Chirrick's tenure, Donlon Elementary was named a 2014 California Distinguished School, an honor bestowed upon schools that show academic excellence and demonstrate gains in narrowing the achievement gap.

Donlon has had a some principal turnover in the past few years. Chirrick was the school's fifth principal since 2009.

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7 people like this
Posted by Sam
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 17, 2015 at 1:58 pm

So who do you all blame this on? Parvin is gone.

10 people like this
Posted by Eric
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jul 17, 2015 at 2:29 pm

Sam, there is still the all mighty union that has to be dealt with. Why would any Principal want to have to deal with them? I'd bet this job hunt had been in the works before Parvin just up and bailed.

7 people like this
Posted by Gawker
a resident of Bonde Ranch
on Jul 17, 2015 at 2:44 pm

&Sam, Odie Douglas and Luz Cazares are still here, tho

6 people like this
Posted by @sam
a resident of Amador Estates
on Jul 17, 2015 at 4:43 pm

Parvin has been gone two weeks. Or was that math to hard for you?

31 people like this
Posted by One of "Those" Teachers
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jul 17, 2015 at 5:23 pm

Ever consider that it could be working with Pleasanton parents?

39 people like this
Posted by Janna
a resident of Downtown
on Jul 17, 2015 at 7:45 pm

Maybe, just maybe, she is "excited to be working closer to home." Sometimes it's as simple as that.

10 people like this
Posted by @ One of those teachers & Janna
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jul 17, 2015 at 9:19 pm

Not parents but I bet she is ready not to work with the teachers union and this is PUSD it is never simple.

21 people like this
Posted by Enough Already
a resident of Birdland
on Jul 19, 2015 at 10:34 pm

Did you hear about that grass fire? It must've been that rotten teacher's union! Oh yeah, and the drought! Those selfish teachers are always sucking up our resources! And of course there's that avian flu that's making the cost of eggs skyrocket. I actually don't know how to blame the teacher's union for that, but I'm sure they're involved somehow!

If we union folk would acquiesce and agree that the evil unions are responsible for all of the nation's woes, would you all please just shut up about it already? Sometimes, people just want a different job. Sometimes people grow tired of a commute. Sometimes people are asked to move on. It's not always some nefarious conspiracy cooked up by labor. Most people that have spent time in the world of public education know that principals rarely leave because of the teachers or their union. That is unless, of course, that principal tends to violate the contract and is called out by the union. Principals that honor the contact and their staff don't have these phantom "union problems".

Incidentally, many district/union contacts include a "me too" clause. For those of you that don't know, that means that any raise the teachers get through negotiations, the administration gets as well. Administrators don't have to ask, beg, organize or do any of the degrading things teachers have to do to get a pay increase. They just get it. So, administration doesn't always despise the unions as much as you may think. They often get their pay increases on the backs of the teachers. I don't know if PUSD has this arrangement or not, but many districts do.

And one more thing....if you think that the Pleasanton teacher's union is a particularly strong one, you should venture out. This union certainly doesn't have a reputation for being especially tough.

16 people like this
Posted by Get the facts
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 19, 2015 at 11:58 pm

Thanks, 'Enough Already', for speaking up for the teachers.

To confirm, Pleasanton does have an unwritten "me too clause". You are exactly right, the teachers organize and grovel for a raise, and the management (and classified) groups get it too.

Also, our big bad union, that so many hate and blame for the ills of the world, stepped up to the plate a few years ago, when the economy when in the tank, and took eight furlough days over two years to help save programs for the schools. Pleasanton teachers were way ahead of most districts in the state, many who did not step up to take this pay cut. And the district didn't ask us to do this, we offered. Two parcel taxes failed, but we took a pay cut that covered those parcel taxes many times over.

Administrators leave for many reasons, and as Enough said, she just went to another job, no big deal.

13 people like this
Posted by Ptown Parent
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Jul 20, 2015 at 9:10 am

Where there's smoke, there's fire. You can count on it every time.

It's going to take time to put out the fire storm caused by Parvin's reign as Suoerintendent. It's ridiculous to exempt her from any ownership of events that occur mere days from her departure.

On the other hand, people do leave jobs for reasons that have nothing to do with their employer.

PUSD has a major perception problem. Everyone can debate if it's justified or not, but it doesn't change the fact that our district is not trusted by a large contingency of this community.

The good news is that there's a new "sheriff" in town - for awhile anyway. Lets give the new regime a chance to prove themselves before casting stones. Mr Hansen and the "new" board have a big job this year. Until there are reasons not to trust them, let's give them a chance. The school year hasn't even started for goodness sakes.

9 people like this
Posted by mooseturd
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jul 20, 2015 at 9:11 am

mooseturd is a registered user.

Yes but, changing principals every year is not a good thing.

11 people like this
Posted by Sidnee
a resident of Donlon Elementary School
on Jul 20, 2015 at 9:22 am

Why are people blaming this on teachers? The teachers work with our kids and do a fine job in this town. I'm sick of people beating up on the teachers every time there is a problem in this district. I haven't heard of the teachers' union in P-town being unreasonable or demanding huge raises, and yes I follow what goes on in the school district. Newsflash--we do live in a very expensive area and teachers need to be able to make a living and support their families. I'm tired of this blame everyone style that this community engages in. Also, did anyone ever stop to consider that she wants to be closer to home--as she stated? How about we work together as a community and STOP blaming everyone? Nothing is as simple as some people here think it is. Squashing the "almighty union" isn't the magic bullet some think, nor is driving a Superintendent out. If the structure of inefficiency is already in place, it doesn't matter who is in charge. Why don't we spend our time working to continue to make our schools quality places of learning and support a curriculum that teaches our children how to think instead of just being able to answer questions on a test? That would be a productive use of our time and energy. And be respectful to our teachers. They work hard and are professionals who care. And before you say that there are bad teachers, of course there are a few. Every profession has low quality people. But you cannot judge an entire profession based on the actions of some who can't cut it. 99% of the teachers I have come in contact with over my sons' academic career are outstanding, caring and have done a fine job. We should ALL be working together.

4 people like this
Posted by Sidnee
a resident of Donlon Elementary School
on Jul 20, 2015 at 9:29 am

Ptown parent, well said. I totally agree with giving the new group a chance. Change doesn't happen quickly. And moose, I believe Ms. Chirrick was at Donlon for at least 2 years but you are right, there has been a churn of principals at Donlon, and other schools in the district. That is why what Ptown parent said is even more important. We need to give the new leadership, even if Mr. Hansen in an interim supe, and the Board the opportunity to put in place changes that attract and retain quality people. Change takes time. Also, community members should keep track of what is going on--going to Board meetings or watching them online if you can't be there in person, to see if things are improving. It's ok to voice our displeasure with the history of what has been going on in this district over the years, but doing it in a productive, positive way. Bashing teachers or administration, which a lot of people LOVE to do here, doesn't solve the problem. Bringing everyone together to discuss solutions to the problem and move forward will help continue to make our district and our schools the quality places they are.

4 people like this
Posted by hmm...
a resident of Downtown
on Jul 20, 2015 at 9:55 am

So the Vintage Hills principal recently resigned in order to work in Castro Valley WITH Parvin. So maybe, just maybe, she wasn't that horrible to work for???? Just a thought!

Like this comment
Posted by Steve
a resident of Stoneridge
on Jul 20, 2015 at 10:23 am

Since the topic of the teachers union has come up. It would be interesting to see how long it would last if it was barred from making political contributions to candidates. It would certainly give lie to the notion that the teacher's union is all about negotiating for better schools for our kids, and better working conditions for teachers.

10 people like this
Posted by sidnee
a resident of Donlon Elementary School
on Jul 20, 2015 at 12:06 pm

sidnee is a registered user.

I'm all for that Steve--just as long as corporations cannot contribute to political campaigns as well. If you are talking about taking money out of politics, then it should be for everyone--not just unions.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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