Dianne Howell named Pleasanton school district's assistant superintendent of HR

Tuesday public meeting included audit report, substitute teachers pay raise

Pleasanton's school board last night appointed Dianne Howell as permanent assistant superintendent of human resources Tuesday night, meaning nearly all of the district's management team is now in place.

Howell came out of retirement in June to become the interim assistant superintendent of human resources to replace Bill Faraghan when he retired after 27 years in education.

Her appointment from an interim to permanent cabinet position is the second such appointment in recent weeks after Micaela Ochoa was selected as deputy superintendent of business services in December.

Howell's contract lasts until June 2017, and Ochoa's contract lasts until 2018.

The board also discussed financial reporting mistakes discovered by an audit firm hired by the district, adjusted substitute teacher pay and revamped their definition of diversity.

Firm Gilbert Associates found five financial reporting mistakes while conducting the annual audit ending June 30, 2015, all of which are in the process of being resolved by district staff, that led to more checks-and-balances in the district.

The financial mistakes were double-reporting certain costs -- which appears to have occurred for years -- two instances where expenditures should have been occurred but were not, a case where a hearing didn't take place within a specific deadline and a district requirement to monitor audits related to a special partnership that wasn't properly fulfilled.

The mistakes didn't affect the district's overall budget, deputy superintendent of business services Micaela Ochoa said.

"Although we did have these findings, management and the audit committee really took them seriously," Gilbert Associates certified public accountant Jamie Matthews said, "and were quick to provide responses on what they were going to do."

The district's audit committee, which consists of two board members and one community member, met with the audit firm three times over the process to make sure they understood all the finances and what needed to be done next.

The board also decided to increase the district's pay for short-term substitute teachers from $110 a day to $120 a day. The pay increase will be for substitutes who work 1-10 days, which takes effect Wednesday.

The district also adjusted its official definitions of "equity and diversity," specifying that equity and equality are both essential for student success. The resolution states equity must be measured by access and outcomes, and recognizing equity is a matter of fairness.

The resolution lays out a few district goals for increasing equity, such as examining policies that lead to overrepresentation of students from some ethnics groups in special education and underrepresentation in gifted or honors courses.

We can't do it without you.
Support local journalism.


18 people like this
Posted by HeRo
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 13, 2016 at 6:54 am

Great news on Dianne Howell. She's awesome.

3 people like this
Posted by $120 per hour?
a resident of Amador Estates
on Jan 13, 2016 at 8:55 am

$120 per HOUR for a substitute teacher?? Please tell us that is a typo!!!

That would be a salary of $250,000 per year for a 52 week year, 40 hour week!!!

I hope that is a typo. Given all the days each teacher is absent, if it isn't a typo, no wonder the school system is on the brink of financial ruin.

7 people like this
Posted by Meredith Bauer
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 13, 2016 at 9:34 am

$120 per hour?: Meredith Bauer here from the Weekly. Yes, that was a typo. It is $120 a day for short-term substitutes. The story has been updated to reflect the correct amount, and my apologies about the confusion.

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

Be the first to know

Get the latest headlines sent straight to your inbox every day.

Couples: Mirror, Mirror on the . . . Fight?!
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,102 views

Talking sports and life with Tommy Dyer
By Tim Hunt | 0 comments | 700 views