News

Pratt appointed as principal at Walnut Grove Elementary

Reason for leadership switch at school unclear

Walnut Grove Elementary School has new leadership as of several weeks ago, but with a face that will be familiar to students and parents at the campus.

Dwight Pratt. (Photo courtesy of PUSD)

Taking over the role previously intended for another Pleasanton Unified School District administrator, Walnut Grove vice principal Dwight Pratt was unanimously appointed as principal at the Sept. 9 Board of Trustees meeting.

Former Mohr Elementary principal Julie Berglin "anticipated beginning the year as the new Walnut Grove principal," and was originally poised to replace outgoing principal Chris Connor in July, but "was quite disappointed to not be able to be there for the first several weeks of school," Superintendent David Haglund told Walnut Grove families in a recent message.

The reason Berglin is no longer assigned as Walnut Grove's principal was not specified.

Haglund added that Berglin has agreed to serve as a principal on assignment in the district's assessment and accountability department. Berglin, who could not be reached for comment, has been at PUSD for almost 25 years and was principal at Mohr from 2013 until this year, when she hired for Walnut Grove.

What's local journalism worth to you?

Support PleasantonWeekly.com for as little as $5/month.

Join

The school started the 2021-22 school year with "some unexpected challenges," but Haglund said that Pratt "has provided steady leadership" and "ensured a smooth start for the Roadrunners."

With the goal of maintaining leadership stability at the school for the year, Haglund said Pratt will continue to serve as principal while the district continues to work to fill the assistant principal position "as quickly as possible."

Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect that the district had removed Pratt's interim tag to make him permanent principal before the publication of the original version of this article. The Pleasanton Weekly regrets the confusion.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox in our Express newsletter.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox in our Express newsletter.

Follow PleasantonWeekly.com and the Pleasanton Weekly on Twitter @pleasantonnews, Facebook and on Instagram @pleasantonweekly for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

Your support is vital to us continuing to bring you education news. Become a member today.

Pratt appointed as principal at Walnut Grove Elementary

Reason for leadership switch at school unclear

by / Pleasanton Weekly

Uploaded: Wed, Sep 22, 2021, 4:32 pm
Updated: Sat, Sep 25, 2021, 4:41 pm

Walnut Grove Elementary School has new leadership as of several weeks ago, but with a face that will be familiar to students and parents at the campus.

Taking over the role previously intended for another Pleasanton Unified School District administrator, Walnut Grove vice principal Dwight Pratt was unanimously appointed as principal at the Sept. 9 Board of Trustees meeting.

Former Mohr Elementary principal Julie Berglin "anticipated beginning the year as the new Walnut Grove principal," and was originally poised to replace outgoing principal Chris Connor in July, but "was quite disappointed to not be able to be there for the first several weeks of school," Superintendent David Haglund told Walnut Grove families in a recent message.

The reason Berglin is no longer assigned as Walnut Grove's principal was not specified.

Haglund added that Berglin has agreed to serve as a principal on assignment in the district's assessment and accountability department. Berglin, who could not be reached for comment, has been at PUSD for almost 25 years and was principal at Mohr from 2013 until this year, when she hired for Walnut Grove.

The school started the 2021-22 school year with "some unexpected challenges," but Haglund said that Pratt "has provided steady leadership" and "ensured a smooth start for the Roadrunners."

With the goal of maintaining leadership stability at the school for the year, Haglund said Pratt will continue to serve as principal while the district continues to work to fill the assistant principal position "as quickly as possible."

Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect that the district had removed Pratt's interim tag to make him permanent principal before the publication of the original version of this article. The Pleasanton Weekly regrets the confusion.

Comments

Concerned about Schools
Registered user
Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Sep 23, 2021 at 9:53 am
Concerned about Schools, Walnut Grove Elementary School
Registered user
on Sep 23, 2021 at 9:53 am

Another district coverup and bunch of nonsense. This is, yet again, a load of bull from district leadership. Berglin being "on assignment" is ridiculous. Rumor is that the district told her it was "too late" in the school year for her to go to WG. She was out for valid reasons--is it even ethical for the district to reassign her? Weekly and community members, dig into this. There are public emails and announcements about this situation.


Frustrated Voter
Registered user
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 23, 2021 at 12:44 pm
Frustrated Voter, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
Registered user
on Sep 23, 2021 at 12:44 pm

This man might be a wonderful principal and good for him. However, he did not interview for this position and candidates who interviewed over the summer for open principal and VP positions were not contacted to see if they still were available or interested. Just doesn’t seem fair.


Frustrated Voter
Registered user
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 23, 2021 at 1:04 pm
Frustrated Voter, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
Registered user
on Sep 23, 2021 at 1:04 pm

PS Mrs. Berglin has been a wonderful and professional teacher and principal in this district for many years. There is no discernible reason for her to have been reassigned, again, especially after preparing for this new position during the summer.


Asking For Truth
Registered user
Birdland
on Sep 23, 2021 at 3:53 pm
Asking For Truth, Birdland
Registered user
on Sep 23, 2021 at 3:53 pm

I’m part of the Mohr community, and the problem from where I sit is that Ms.Berglin had been defending her staff to continue the strong work they were doing at Mohr.
She would not give in to the degradation coming from the top. Ms. Berglin should be commended , not punished. In addition, the principal at WG should be one of the strong candidates that went through the interview process. But, then again, does the district hire strong leaders, or “yes “ people?


Fired Up!
Registered user
Birdland
on Sep 23, 2021 at 5:36 pm
Fired Up!, Birdland
Registered user
on Sep 23, 2021 at 5:36 pm

[Removed pending verification] Indeed, there may have been other alternatives, ie hiring summer interviewees but regardless of anything there was ZERO communication from Mrs. Berglin prior to the beginning of the school year with parents, the website never changed (ie always was old info from Chris Connor), she didn't communicate with the PTA and yes, [removed] But even after school started she never communicated once. NEVER ONCE. No welcome letter, no "I'm sorry I'm out letter." NOTHING.

I don't have an opinion about reassignment or who got the job/didn't. But frankly speaking, Mr. Pratt stepped up in a time when teachers and students desperately needed a leader and he did the one thing she failed to do - COMMUNICATE! And for that, he likely has all the support he needs to have many years of continued success at Walnut Grove. Thank you Mr. Pratt for stepping up and being the leader our kids need and love.


JustTheFacts
Registered user
Ruby Hill
on Sep 23, 2021 at 6:36 pm
JustTheFacts, Ruby Hill
Registered user
on Sep 23, 2021 at 6:36 pm

@FiredUp

Did you ever consider that the district office may have instructed Mrs. Berglin to NOT communicate circumstances?

If you have been in this district for anytime, you would have suspected that, as this has been the strategy for years.

Principals are employees of the district office and have a lot less autonomy than you would ever imagine, particularly under the current regime.

I really doubt an experienced principal like Mrs. Berglin would have chosen to go dark in communicating with the community of a brand new school unless she was told to do so, for all the reasons that make you “frustrated” Just does not add up to me.


Concerned about Schools
Registered user
Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Sep 24, 2021 at 9:38 am
Concerned about Schools, Walnut Grove Elementary School
Registered user
on Sep 24, 2021 at 9:38 am

JustTheFacts: Couldn't agree more. That is 100% what is going on.


Fired Up!
Registered user
Birdland
on Sep 24, 2021 at 12:44 pm
Fired Up!, Birdland
Registered user
on Sep 24, 2021 at 12:44 pm

No. I didn't ever consider the district office instructed her not to communicate. There's very likely a number of things I could have considered and did not.

At this point one can only speculate. The principal at Harvest Park was hired around the same time and was in constant contact with the community. Mrs. Berglin was on campus with all teachers on Monday before school started. To be instructed to not communicate with the community before this date seems unlikely.

Mrs. Berglins husband is a pastor at Rock Bible Church, videos of the service are available on youtube.


Walnut Grove Roadrunner
Registered user
Birdland
on Sep 24, 2021 at 1:53 pm
Walnut Grove Roadrunner, Birdland
Registered user
on Sep 24, 2021 at 1:53 pm

@Frustrated Voter:
Mr. Pratt interviewed and is doing a great job.


Jtjh
Registered user
Vintage Hills
on Sep 24, 2021 at 2:35 pm
Jtjh, Vintage Hills
Registered user
on Sep 24, 2021 at 2:35 pm

PUSD does seem to be remarkably inept in appointing its high-level administrators.

In recent years, there have been so many strange, sudden and unexplained, or only vaguely explained, resignations and/or changes in crucial district personnel. It is difficult not to conclude that perhaps there is a lot of behind-the-scenes lobbying, power and even political maneuvering, of which local stakeholders are unaware. Or are not informed, because of an almost gang-like culture of fear and silence.

I am concerned that the district will gain the reputation of being one to avoid.


Pleasanton mama
Registered user
Birdland
on Sep 24, 2021 at 3:50 pm
Pleasanton mama, Birdland
Registered user
on Sep 24, 2021 at 3:50 pm

Congrats Mr. Pratt!


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Post a comment

In order to encourage respectful and thoughtful discussion, commenting on stories is available to those who are registered users. If you are already a registered user and the commenting form is not below, you need to log in. If you are not registered, you can do so here.

Please make sure your comments are truthful, on-topic and do not disrespect another poster. Don't be snarky or belittling. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

See our announcement about requiring registration for commenting.