News

Amador Valley High principal takes leave of absence

Ex-headman Williams steps in while Solorzano out

First-year Amador Valley High School principal Alberto Solorzano was granted a leave of absence for personal reasons on Wednesday, according to Pleasanton Unified School District officials.

PUSD's human resources director Mike Williams, who served just over two years as Amador's principal before being promoted to the district office last year, will return to the Santa Rita Road campus to provide administrative support during Solorzano's absence, which is indefinite at this point.

"I am working collaboratively with the administrative team to develop a plan to support the site during this time," Williams said in an email to the Amador community on Wednesday confirming the administrative shuffle.

"As a part of that plan, I will be stepping in to support Amador Valley's students, staff and community -- working to ensure that the day to day learning experience remains intact and that our WASC accreditation visit is focused on the things that make us all proud to be Dons," Williams added. "As the former principal of Amador Valley, I am grateful for the amazing Amador community, and look forward to working with you to ensure that our school activities continue to run smoothly."

Solorzano had not responded to a request for comment to date.

A career educator with lifelong ties to the East Bay, Solorzano was hired by the Pleasanton school board last spring to lead the 2,700-student high school starting this school year.

Before coming to Amador, Solorzano was director of secondary education for Dublin Unified School District for the 2017-18 school year, and prior to that, he worked as a principal in Livermore, first at Livermore High School and then at Marilyn Elementary School.

Solorzano was the third principal for Amador since the 2015-16 school year.

The duration of his personal leave is unclear, but it comes one week before Amador is due to be visited by Western Association of Schools and Colleges accreditation officials. Amador, along with Village High, are going through a regular update of their accreditation this year, according to PUSD spokesman Patrick Gannon.

The personal leave also began almost three weeks after the conclusion of a district-paid investigation into high school transcript integrity.

A PUSD legal consultant concluded in her report Jan. 31 that high school administrators -- whose names were not released -- intentionally removed a completed course from a student's transcript and record in violation of state law. The investigator deemed that incident, and another case of an accidental course removal, were isolated and did not indicate systemic problems with PUSD's management of student records.

Gannon said he could not comment about whether Solorzano's personal leave was connected to the transcript probe, citing personnel confidentiality reasons.

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Comments

10 people like this
Posted by Bill
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Feb 20, 2019 at 12:38 pm

Dang. One week before accreditation is no small matter. Best of luck to him and his situation.


19 people like this
Posted by Merry-go-round
a resident of Birdland
on Feb 20, 2019 at 1:06 pm

another principal, another PUSD school, sigh..!


11 people like this
Posted by A Concerned Idiot
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Feb 20, 2019 at 2:21 pm

Mr. Solorzano was another member of the bureaucracy that didn't actually improve the lives of the Amador Student Body, but, nevertheless, he was a nice person. His reasons unknown and his legacy short, Mr. Solorzano will always live in the shadows of our old principal, Mike Williams.


7 people like this
Posted by Parent
a resident of Amador Estates
on Feb 20, 2019 at 4:19 pm

This article says administrators-who else was involved in the illegal transcript changes and are they also on leave?


17 people like this
Posted by PUSDeepThroat
a resident of Amador Estates
on Feb 20, 2019 at 4:29 pm


Why isn’t Rocha helping out as interim principal? He seems like the perfect fit with his experience of making problems going away. Maybe he’s got his eye on other jobs? I hear Toledo, Ohio has great opportunities for former PUSD administrators.

PS... if these issues happened last year as well...You should be next Mikey.


57 people like this
Posted by Amador Parent
a resident of Downtown
on Feb 20, 2019 at 4:41 pm

Alberto is an amazing human who has great care for the well being of the Amador students, a breath of fresh air of our schools here. He is a great addition to Amador and changed the entire mood of the school. It began to feel more light and whole child focused. Where kids began to at themselves as something other than just test scores!
Please PUSD, let’s do what we can to keep the good ones. And, please PUSD get Williams out of Amador as quick as possible!


43 people like this
Posted by Discouraged
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Feb 20, 2019 at 4:56 pm

The answer is to bring back the principal, now HR director, who was not responsive to parents and students? There were many problems at AVHS under the watch of Mr. Williams. I think whatever has happened at Amador should be out in the open. Mr. Soloranzo cared about his students, answered emails and phone calls, and was trying to make changes. We still do not know about his involvement or lack thereof in grade changes. It is all speculative. This is such disappointing news, and this is a time that the board needs to provide transparency to restore trust. This community asks time and time again for transparency, but the board continues to keep the community guessing which leads to rumors, doubts, and lack of trust. I agree with the previous poster; Mr. Williams should not go back to Amador. There were many issues under his watch, and many parents and students were happy to see him leave because he was not invested in our students. Many issues were reported to him, and he did NOTHING. Whereas, Mr. Soloranzo was already making a difference; the students knew him and they knew he cared for them.


4 people like this
Posted by PUSDeepThroat
a resident of Amador Estates
on Feb 20, 2019 at 5:33 pm

Web Link

Theory that he wasn’t even a Dr is my favorite of all PUSD conspiracy theories.


49 people like this
Posted by Birdland
a resident of Birdland
on Feb 20, 2019 at 6:02 pm

While Amador is cleaning house (or will be shortly) why don’t you get rid of the Athletic Director as well. He’s been known to look the other way (depending on the student) for his baseball players. Doesn’t give a lick about any other students or sports besides baseball. Treats the other sports very differently than his “Varsity” baseball team. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t even give a “hoots” about the JV and Freshman baseball teams either. Not sure how he’s been the coach and athletic director all these years. Isn’t that considered a conflict of interest? I’m continually amazed at the lack of accountability within the district. PUSD should be ashamed. These individuals ruin it for the teachers, staff and admins who are trying to do what is best for the students.


6 people like this
Posted by Rowling
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Feb 20, 2019 at 10:54 pm

Why is all the attention on Amador? What about the fact that Foothill isn’t doing some things by the book in regards to their seniors— shouldn’t we focus on those?


10 people like this
Posted by Parent
a resident of Birdland
on Feb 21, 2019 at 7:29 am

Rowling, the focus is on Amador because that's the site that illegally changed a students transcript. If you have evidence that Foothill is doing/has done the same, feel free to contact the District Office. Although, they may well be complicit with this practice as there were administrators ( plural) involved in this incident.


18 people like this
Posted by Foothill parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 21, 2019 at 9:58 am

Glad my kids are at Foothill. Ironically, they couldn't get into Amador because the school is overcrowded/above capacity ('impacted').

Such a continuing revolving door at Amador--all of those kids/students deserve better leadership there. Must be stressful for the teachers and staff, too, I'm sure.


24 people like this
Posted by Anonymous AVHS Teacher
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Feb 21, 2019 at 10:16 am

"...why don’t you get rid of the Athletic Director as well. He’s been known to look the other way (depending on the student) for his baseball players. Doesn’t give a lick about any other students or sports besides baseball. Treats the other sports very differently than his “Varsity” baseball team. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t even give a “hoots” about the JV and Freshman baseball teams either. Not sure how he’s been the coach and athletic director all these years. Isn’t that considered a conflict of interest?"

Birdland, you couldn't be more wrong about AVHS Athletic Director Lou Cesario. He operates with the utmost integrity and is the first to admonish a player who can't make the grades to play sports, even his own baseball players. I've never heard a complaint from the coaches of other sports about Lou. In fact, many at Amador revere Lou and are outraged the district is trying to institute a policy to force ADs to have admin credentials and not coach. As far as conflict of interest, again, it's not an issue. All the coaches at Amador feel they are being treated fairly by Lou.


19 people like this
Posted by Oh yes we do know
a resident of Downtown
on Feb 21, 2019 at 10:21 am

[removed because it was speculative and unverified] He needs to be terminated from Pleasanton Unified School District.


12 people like this
Posted by Frustrated Parent
a resident of Birdland
on Feb 21, 2019 at 12:50 pm

PUSD school administration and counselors are completely useless and incompetent. Can some outside firm please do a review of their organization and the work that they produce and slash at least half of the staff?

I seriously think half of my school tax dollars are wasted on navel gazing in the district office.


34 people like this
Posted by AVHS PARENT and PUSD TEACHER
a resident of Downtown
on Feb 21, 2019 at 6:05 pm

I am supporting Mr Solarzano because he is an outstanding man and a compassionate administrator. Sometimes there are circumstances that we don’t and can’t know about and school officials must make decisions and treat students as human beings and not numbers I know Mr Solarzano personally and he is the best thing that has happened to Amador Valley High school Mr Willams cant be bothered to answer an email or a phone call. He’s arrogant and under qualified for a job like AVHS. If we are going to be a community of character that supports our students physically and emotionally, than we need to bring Mr. Solarzano back immediately He’s our only hope as we battle the angst. KEEP MIKE WILLIAMS OUT


20 people like this
Posted by Anonymous Ex-coach
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 21, 2019 at 7:17 pm

To Anonymous teacher....uh, no, Birdland is correct.


17 people like this
Posted by ANOTHER TEACHER
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Feb 22, 2019 at 7:49 am

Yes, Birdland is spot on accurate and there are far too many coaches, teachers and parents of students/students who are too afraid to speak up because FORMER administration and district officials who ignored, stonewalled and allowed the bullying to continue. So they just quit and walked away

I’d like to pull the statistics of how many students have had to leave Amador because of anxiety/angst who were performing well in middle school, only to become stressed and shrugged off. I wonder when Dr Haglund is going to actually step in and do something...THESE ARE OUR CHILDREN. Stop being so careless


14 people like this
Posted by Parentofav
a resident of Birdland
on Feb 22, 2019 at 9:32 am

Fact is...[removed because it is speculative and unverified]. Fact is...pusd can't do anything right. The money spent to hide the truth should be spent on our kids. We have bodies...not principals. We have district office employees collecting a check. We need a new Super before we need a new athletic director. Our Super has done nothing to improve our district only is bank account


17 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Feb 22, 2019 at 10:52 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Parentofav, I don’t think that’s totally true about Dr. Haglund. People at the DO have contracts, typically three years. Hard to remove them without cause and for many dollars, so it’s possible he was stuck with who he had. It will be unfortunate if Amador loses another principal, and the governance team (board and executive cabinet members) needs to stop hiring people who don’t meet the high educational standards our community expects. The board needs to have higher expectations of themselves and their team, and to be more present in the community rather than relying on press releases to keep us informed. I realize this is a personnel matter, but people are putting two and two together (erroneously or correctly) based on two stories in this paper and some insider posts here. There is more that can and should be said — like stating whether this is related to the grades debacle, whether new policy and training are planned, and how hiring practices are going to change. When teachers, office staff, students, and parents already know what happened and are talking, the board’s silence allows for rumor mills, and perhaps inaccuracies, to spread.

Teachers and students have been paying in morale and lack of proper leadership and for far too long. The board needs to lead.


25 people like this
Posted by Livermore parent
a resident of Livermore
on Feb 22, 2019 at 11:51 am

We will take Solarzano back in a heartbeat. The guy has class and compassion. That’s what PUSD is lacking. Pleasanton used to be one of the better districts. Now it’s a joke. Don’t believe me? Ask around. Test scores aren’t everything people


10 people like this
Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on Feb 22, 2019 at 2:33 pm

The board does not have the capability to do the job. At some point we should ask the state to step in and appoint a board of their choosing to straighten this mess out.


26 people like this
Posted by AVHS parent
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Feb 22, 2019 at 2:49 pm

I wish Mr.Solorzano will come back soon. He walks around the campus a lot to be with students. He returns parents' email and addresses concerns. He supports the well-being of all students. He is engaged and brought positive changes to the school. Where can parents voice ?


15 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Feb 22, 2019 at 2:55 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Write or call board members or attend a board meeting. There is a section at the start of their meeting where they take public comment on items not on the agenda. You get three minutes. Web Link


3 people like this
Posted by A compassionated AVHS parent
a resident of Birdland
on Mar 5, 2019 at 4:42 pm

A compassionated AVHS parent is a registered user.

Agree with many parents and teachers. Without the facts of what has happened, Principal Solorzano is a NICE person with empathy! Should the change of transcript hold true, one was for compassion reason, one was by accident of a record from 7th grade per legal audit publicly announced. Assuming he is responsible for change of the transcript, it is for compassion reason!!! The kid who was involved could be one of our daughter, sons, grandchildren under a very difficult time. With the high suicide rate in Bay Area, if you were to be put in the same shoes, what decision would you make please?

“When life presents a chance of being right or being kind, choose being kind” from “Wonder”. Not I support change of transcript, I support kindness and second chance if that’s true, as this is how we teach our kids!


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

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