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.