Micaela Ochoa named deputy superintendent of Pleasanton schools, succeeding Luz Cazares

Board also approves other district management changes

Micaela Ochoa was promoted Tuesday to deputy superintendent of business services of the Pleasanton school district, a position she had been filling while Luz Cazares, who held that post, was on an extended leave of absence.

Ochoa replaces Luz Cazares, who has been away on personal leave since September.

Board members and district staff declined to elaborate on Cazares' leave, which began last September, or about her decision not to return to the district.

Interim superintendent Jim Hansen previously told the Pleasanton Weekly he could not discuss details of her leave due to personnel privacy laws.

Ochoa, whose contract runs through June 30, 2018. previously worked as the chief business officer for the Santa Clara County Office of Education.

Several others will be stepping into new roles as a result of board appointments Tuesday night.

Amy Nichols was hired as director of technology to replace Chris Hobbs, who left the district this fall. Nichols previously worked as Burlingame school district's director of technology.

The board also approved Glen Sparks as the district's new director of adult education. Sparks was previously the coordinator of career technical education for Pleasanton Unified and was part of the team researching how the district should focus its effort when it restarted its adult education program.

Board voted last month to reinstate adult education programs, starting with English as a second language courses and potentially expanding course offerings to include computer classes, resume courses and classes for adults with disabilities.

Board members also chose a new board president and vice president to lead them through the 2016 year. Jamie Hintzke replaced Valerie Arkin as president, and Mark Miller replaced Chris Grant as vice president.

Arkin initially nominated Hintzke, with Grant seconding. Trustee Joan Laursen then recommended Grant for the president spot, asking whether his term as vice president precluded him from the job.

Miller seconded Grant's nomination, but Grant declined the offer, saying: "I appreciate the motion, and I appreciate the second."

Hintzke and Miller were conferred to their new spots unanimously.

The four-year terms of office for Hintzke, as well as Arkin and Grant, expire at the end of 2016 although all three are eligible to seek re-election in November.

Upon assuming his new role, Miller thanked Arkin and Grant for their leadership over the past year.

"It's been a rough year, but you guys have sailed us through," he said.

In other school news:

* The board heard a presentation on options for a possible debt issuance and what steps would be to be complete if the board were to take a tax rate measure to voters next November.

The district is considering utilizing some type of debt to fund infrastructure construction in the wake of decreased state funding for such projects. While the state has a $9 billion school facilities bond on the 2016 ballot, board members said school districts have been urged to self-fund, given the current level of uncertainty over state funding.

No action was taken regarding the presentation.

*The board approved a summer school schedule that will run from June 20 to July 28 for high school and from June 20 to July 21 for all other programs. The program is budgeted at $289,404, which will be paid via general fund and Title 1 dollars.

Recruitment has started for summer school instructors, and staff noted external candidates have to be brought into the district each year to fill in the ranks. Pleasanton Unified teachers who are able to participate in summer school are asked to email

*The board approved an update to the district's budget to reflect carry-over from last year and updated circumstances.

The updated total district expenditures will be $145.8 million, up from $130.6 million at the last budget update, and the updated revenue will be $145.7 million -- up from $138.1 million.

One part of the expenditures increase is the fact that all employers that use the state retirement system, CalPERS and CalSTRS, had to increase their contributions. Another is due to new one-time funds, plus carry-over expenses from last year.

Some of the increase in revenue is due to $1.7 million in donations PUSD received from various sources, including the Parent Teacher Association and the Parent Faculty Club.

Tuesday's board meeting was the final one of the year with the next meeting scheduled for Jan. 12. In addition to schools being closed for two weeks for the holiday break starting Dec. 21, district offices will also be closed for that entire period for the first time this year.

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28 people like this
Posted by Turning a corner?
a resident of Birdland
on Dec 10, 2015 at 9:08 am

With all the changes at the upper levels of the district, I sure hope that they are heading in a better direction.

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

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