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Administrative turnover comes into view at Pleasanton Unified

New assistant superintendent, directors following multiple retirements and other moves

William Nelson, incoming assistant superintendent of teaching and learning for the Pleasanton Unified School District. (Photo courtesy PUSD)

The Pleasanton Unified School District is undergoing several changes in its upper administration at the district office before the new school year starts.

In the executive cabinet, William Nelson has been hired as the district's next assistant superintendent of teaching and learning, succeeding Janelle Woodward who is retiring after serving in the role since the 2019-20 academic year.

Nelson, who was appointed at the special Board of Trustees meeting on May 19, comes from a 25-year background of being a teacher, principal and, for the past three years, senior district administrator for Modesto City Schools.

According to a PUSD news release, Nelson is known for his work in helping school leaders grow professionally and leading systemic work in Modesto to examine grading principals through an equity lens.

"Dr. Nelson's ability to inspire school administrators and engage educational partners in authentic and meaningful ways, as well as his depth of experience and dedication to equity will be a vital asset in leading our Teaching and Learning division in service of all students," PUSD Superintendent David Haglund said in a statement. "We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Nelson to the PUSD community and look forward to seeing his passions at play in supporting all students to be career ready."

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Nelson received his doctorate in educational leadership from Concordia University and his bachelor's degree from the University of the Pacific.

His tenure with PUSD officially begins this Friday.

Another high-profile change in administration was last week's announcement of Amador Valley High School principal Joshua Butterfield stepping down to take on the role of director of secondary education for the district.

Butterfield has worked in various PUSD classroom and administrative roles over the past 10 years, including vice principal of his alma mater Foothill High School from 2015-19 before being appointed to principal at Amador in July 2019.

The district has begun the process to hire a new principal for Amador prior to the start of the school year, according to Patrick Gannon, director of communications.

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In the district office, Butterfield will be replacing Nimarta Grewal who has accepted a new position within PUSD as director of human resources. Grewal is taking over for former director Kim Ortiz, who also recently announced her retirement.

In other moves, Shay Galletti will also be stepping down as director of elementary education to pursue her doctorate while also serving as the coordinator of early literacy and numeracy. Galletti is the daughter of PUSD Trustee Steve Maher.

She will be replaced by David Schrag, who is coming to Pleasanton after serving as director of curriculum and instruction at the Orinda Union School District.

Schrag previously spent 10 years as a site administrator and eight years as a fifth- and sixth-grade teacher in Hayward. He will also begin in his new role on Friday.

"He has a strong history of leading student-focused programs, implementing social-emotional learning-based programs as well as curriculum to deepen diversity, equity and including work for all educational partners," Gannon said.

Pam VandeKamp, PUSD's director of assessment and accountability, is retiring at the end of the 2021-22 academic year as well.

She will be succeeded by Kevin Bradley, former administrative assistant superintendent at the New York City Department of Education, but the PUSD position itself is being rebranded as senior executive director of research and evaluation.

Gannon said that Bradley was responsible for leading quality reviews of K-12 public schools throughout New York City. He collaborated with school leaders in evaluating school practices and their impact while providing focused feedback and next steps in the areas of instructional core, school culture and systems for improvement.

Prior to his role as administrative assistant superintendent, Bradley served as principal of the Urban Assembly School for Collaborative Health Care in New York City. He was also a consultant for the New York City Department of Education.

Earlier in his career, Bradley served as a vice principal in the Fresno Unified School District for six years and as an instructional technology specialist prior to his experience in school administration.

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Administrative turnover comes into view at Pleasanton Unified

New assistant superintendent, directors following multiple retirements and other moves

by / Pleasanton Weekly

Uploaded: Wed, Jun 29, 2022, 8:05 pm

The Pleasanton Unified School District is undergoing several changes in its upper administration at the district office before the new school year starts.

In the executive cabinet, William Nelson has been hired as the district's next assistant superintendent of teaching and learning, succeeding Janelle Woodward who is retiring after serving in the role since the 2019-20 academic year.

Nelson, who was appointed at the special Board of Trustees meeting on May 19, comes from a 25-year background of being a teacher, principal and, for the past three years, senior district administrator for Modesto City Schools.

According to a PUSD news release, Nelson is known for his work in helping school leaders grow professionally and leading systemic work in Modesto to examine grading principals through an equity lens.

"Dr. Nelson's ability to inspire school administrators and engage educational partners in authentic and meaningful ways, as well as his depth of experience and dedication to equity will be a vital asset in leading our Teaching and Learning division in service of all students," PUSD Superintendent David Haglund said in a statement. "We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Nelson to the PUSD community and look forward to seeing his passions at play in supporting all students to be career ready."

Nelson received his doctorate in educational leadership from Concordia University and his bachelor's degree from the University of the Pacific.

His tenure with PUSD officially begins this Friday.

Another high-profile change in administration was last week's announcement of Amador Valley High School principal Joshua Butterfield stepping down to take on the role of director of secondary education for the district.

Butterfield has worked in various PUSD classroom and administrative roles over the past 10 years, including vice principal of his alma mater Foothill High School from 2015-19 before being appointed to principal at Amador in July 2019.

The district has begun the process to hire a new principal for Amador prior to the start of the school year, according to Patrick Gannon, director of communications.

In the district office, Butterfield will be replacing Nimarta Grewal who has accepted a new position within PUSD as director of human resources. Grewal is taking over for former director Kim Ortiz, who also recently announced her retirement.

In other moves, Shay Galletti will also be stepping down as director of elementary education to pursue her doctorate while also serving as the coordinator of early literacy and numeracy. Galletti is the daughter of PUSD Trustee Steve Maher.

She will be replaced by David Schrag, who is coming to Pleasanton after serving as director of curriculum and instruction at the Orinda Union School District.

Schrag previously spent 10 years as a site administrator and eight years as a fifth- and sixth-grade teacher in Hayward. He will also begin in his new role on Friday.

"He has a strong history of leading student-focused programs, implementing social-emotional learning-based programs as well as curriculum to deepen diversity, equity and including work for all educational partners," Gannon said.

Pam VandeKamp, PUSD's director of assessment and accountability, is retiring at the end of the 2021-22 academic year as well.

She will be succeeded by Kevin Bradley, former administrative assistant superintendent at the New York City Department of Education, but the PUSD position itself is being rebranded as senior executive director of research and evaluation.

Gannon said that Bradley was responsible for leading quality reviews of K-12 public schools throughout New York City. He collaborated with school leaders in evaluating school practices and their impact while providing focused feedback and next steps in the areas of instructional core, school culture and systems for improvement.

Prior to his role as administrative assistant superintendent, Bradley served as principal of the Urban Assembly School for Collaborative Health Care in New York City. He was also a consultant for the New York City Department of Education.

Earlier in his career, Bradley served as a vice principal in the Fresno Unified School District for six years and as an instructional technology specialist prior to his experience in school administration.

Comments

Frustrated Voter
Registered user
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 30, 2022 at 7:47 pm
Frustrated Voter, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
Registered user
on Jun 30, 2022 at 7:47 pm
Pleasanton Parent
Registered user
Pleasanton Meadows
on Jul 1, 2022 at 8:54 am
Pleasanton Parent, Pleasanton Meadows
Registered user
on Jul 1, 2022 at 8:54 am

I'm appalled at Frustrated Voters response......especially in a time where self identity is defining itself beyond 2 genders......i.e. you can't have it both ways where gender matters when you don't like it, and then gender doesn't matter because its not the determinant of self-identification.

Personally - from the picture, buddy seems to identify as a mob boss more than a representative of a teaching population......but then again....unions are historically corrupt with ties to organized crime.

But I'll save my judgement based on his performance in the role, as we all should, before we cast judgement on appearance. Personally I think Dr Woodward failed our students and I don't think that failure is a function of her gender identity so I'm neither disappointed or excited about the fact her replacement is male.


Get the Facts
Registered user
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 2, 2022 at 2:56 pm
Get the Facts, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
Registered user
on Jul 2, 2022 at 2:56 pm

Galletti is moving to another position in the district office, I'm not sure if it's a promotion or a lateral move, but last I checked she is a woman.


Jeremy Walsh, editor
Registered user
another community
on Jul 4, 2022 at 12:18 am
Jeremy Walsh, editor, another community
Registered user
on Jul 4, 2022 at 12:18 am

At the risk of getting pulled into a comment thread that may already be devolving, I'll just point out that Nimarta Grewal, the new HR director, is a woman as well.


Frustrated Voter
Registered user
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 5, 2022 at 10:30 am
Frustrated Voter, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
Registered user
on Jul 5, 2022 at 10:30 am

Pardon me! Yes, several senior management positions are occupied by women but they already are within PUSD’s employ. I was referring to all the new hires who are in fact men. I surely hope they are the best persons for these jobs but the optics are not representative of the city, students, staff.


John
Registered user
Birdland
on Jul 5, 2022 at 12:08 pm
John, Birdland
Registered user
on Jul 5, 2022 at 12:08 pm

Where the new hires born as male or do they simply identify as male?


Don Alum
Registered user
Amador Valley High School
on Jul 6, 2022 at 9:28 am
Don Alum, Amador Valley High School
Registered user
on Jul 6, 2022 at 9:28 am

Although the entire executive cabinet board is comprised of men, I’m more concerned with the fact that all assistant superintendents hail from average or below average school districts (Riverside, San Lorenzo, Modesto, Menlo Park). There are others (including women) with experience in high performing school districts at the director level, but they won’t be in those cabinet level meetings. They’ll be asked to enforce directives- not create. This is a concern.

We need proven leaders with experience in high performing schools. We need leaders who build collaborative communities, cultivate leadership skills, have a vision, are passionate about our schools and lead by example. Leaders should visit each school at least twice a year- not just their favorite school. (Yes, many leaders never visit our schools!) We need leaders who want to get to know our school communities - sit in on a science lesson, join a group game at recess, visit a book fair, attend a dance etc.

What I’m really concerned about is the number of teachers leaving the district. This is going to be a crisis very shortly. There are not enough subs currently and teachers/principals are being pulled to cover others’ classrooms. Several people who applied to sub in our district were told that they weren’t needed. People with necessary credentials to sub should not be turned away unless there is a valid concern. The HR department needs to do a much better job of hiring substitutes.


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