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Pleasanton school district hires Lodi district manager as its new assistant superintendent

Original post made on May 24, 2012

The Pleasanton school board has hired a former assistant superintendent at the Lodi school district to replace its Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services, Cindy Galbo, who retires at the end of June.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, May 24, 2012, 7:42 AM

Comments (66)

Posted by Tax Payer in Pleasanton
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on May 24, 2012 at 8:22 am

Let's see....School District is broke, we are experiencing major cut backs with programs that are needed...YET...we hire an ASSISTANT making $162k? What the hell is wrong with our government? As a tax payer I am disgusted

Posted by Educated
a resident of Foothill High School
on May 24, 2012 at 8:34 am

EIGHTEEN sick days? Doesn't that seem a bit high? Does anyone in private industry get 18 sick days, especially as a new hire? How many people are actually sick 18 days a year? Is this another scheme that is so common in the public sector to allow cashing in unused sick days his last year of employment, thereby pumping up his pension?

Posted by curious
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 24, 2012 at 8:39 am

When my husband was hired for his current job (director position, 20 years experience in the industry), he was given 8 days off a year for vacation and sick days. It's now gone up to about 12. This is the non-IT private sector.

Posted by chemist
a resident of Downtown
on May 24, 2012 at 8:42 am

GREAT; another administrator, but no Barton reading program. All the while we are looking into cutting sports at the local high schools. Who are these geniuses on the School Board? It's the administrative assistants that do all the work - why don't we just hire another assistant for the already overpaid and under-worked administrators that we already have.

Posted by Lodi????
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 24, 2012 at 9:08 am

You've got to be kidding.

Pleasanton Unified has a base and growth API of 906. Why on earth would the district hire someone from Lodi where with APIs are over 150 points lower than Pleasanton? Ed-data says the APIs for Lodi 749 and 737.

Posted by Sick Days
a resident of Amador Estates
on May 24, 2012 at 9:08 am

Since 1985 school district employees may not use their sick leave for retirement or compensation/payout purposes. Sick leave may be accrued to be used for a catastrophic health event. When they leave or retire unused sick leave goes away. Unlike the private, industry school districts do not pay employees when they become temporarily disabled for illness. Depending on longevity most companies will pay the difference between state disability and the employee’s salary. The school district does not. If you do not have sick leave and you miss work you don’t get paid.

Posted by API
a resident of Amador Estates
on May 24, 2012 at 9:16 am

What does Lodi's API have to do with the candidate’s qualifications to work in Pleasanton? By a similar analogy if I work for a company that loses money does that make me a bad or less qualified employee?

Posted by Lodi????
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 24, 2012 at 9:42 am

If your job has been with the job title of being in charge of curriculum and instruction and the job you are being hired for is in charge of curriculum and instruction, it is absolutely relevant that this incompetent District in its stupidity just hired an individual from a District with API scores over 150 points LESS than Pleasanton.

Maybe the board president who hired him didn't know how to look up the API scores.

Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on May 24, 2012 at 9:48 am

Sick Days, Can you cite the 1985 date for California. As of a year ago, I saw sick days still count in retirement calcs.

Posted by Sandy
a resident of Mohr Park
on May 24, 2012 at 10:11 am

Glenn, thank you for tracking down the details. I look forward to meeting Dr. Douglas.

When superintendent Ahmadi introduces him to the community, I hope she is clear about his job responsibilities and how he will contribute to improved student learning throughout the district. Ideally, those who have neither read the job description nor met the man will reserve judgment about his potential impact on our principals, teachers, and staff.

A bit more info in this article, with a quote from Dr. Douglas about his understanding of his scope of responsibilities: Web Link

Posted by Resident
a resident of Vintage Hills
on May 24, 2012 at 10:14 am

You have got to be kidding me. Why on earth would Pleasanton hire the director of curriculum from Lodi for the same position here. Obviously, school API scores and curriculum health matter. Given the scores and health of Lodi.....this gentleman has nothing to offer - despite the Phd. after his name. And Pleasanton signs him up for a two year contract anyway. Are we trying to sink our reputable school district!!!!!!! With every decision that's being made in the last couple of years, it would certainly seem that way. Pleasanton is no longer the wonderful school district that I moved here for. What in the world is happening with good judgement. Why are we no longer able to attract and retain strong folks.....perhaps it's because of decisions we're making at the top?
And 18 sick days on top of all other vacations and time off in the school district is ridiculous. No private employer gives sick days like that. Another poor use of government funds.

Posted by Dan
a resident of Bridle Creek
on May 24, 2012 at 10:19 am

10 days sick time at my company. Been standard in high tech since I've been in the industry.

18 days seems rather...excessive.


Posted by Jim
a resident of Downtown
on May 24, 2012 at 10:57 am

Actually, the compensation is $162,340, plus $3,450 in stipends per year. The base salary compensation is actually $165,790. Plus there are other benefit costs (not reported in the article) such as District contributions to medical and a retirement plan and perhaps more.

Just putting the published information together for a mandatory minimum work requirement of 202 days per year (deducting the sick days since unused sick days are lost when the contract ends) this is costing the District, costing us, $821 per day, plus other benefit costs.

I guess we should be grateful that the stipulation is only for 220 days. At a base workday rate of $753.59 ($165,790 / 220 days) it would cost more than $275,060 per year if he worked for the entire year like everyone else. And this does not take into account any added benefit costs, but would seem to take care of a long term disability question.

I realize the job is a tough one, and of course everyone there feels entitled to these things. But given the current economy and the existing obligations the District currently holds this agreement seems a little excessive. Where will all this money come from? Will the District now want another Bond or Parcel Tax to keep supporting these kind of decisions, these compensation levels? When people object and question these decisions will they continue to be rebuffed and swept aside as yet another misguided (ah, be it uneducated?) trouble making minority? And will the District press the importance of their 'Special' need, over the needs of all others? And if their argument fails to convince, will they continue hiding behind the children? Using the children as a shield to drive home their 'Need'. After all, we must do it for the children. Don't our children deserve it? How could we not do it for our own kids? One can already hear the argument… "If we want top quality schools for our children, then we must be competitive in the market place and bring the right talent to our schools. We must!" How could anyone resist these arguments?

I also realize that private business may compensate certain employees at about the same base pay levels. The difference is that those folks are not feeding themselves from our tax dollars.

Posted by Lodi????
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 24, 2012 at 11:29 am

He was in charge of secondary education (high schools) in Lodi and seems to have no elementary education experience at all. Why would Pleasanton pick someone like that? Also in Lodi, he seems to have put in place a totalitarian atmosphere of administrators on campus making actual citizen's arrests of teachers....

This is unbelieveable -- look at this Web Link

No wonder Districts like Stockton passed him over.

Posted by Lodi????
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 24, 2012 at 11:43 am

Here is more on the recent "Admin Places Teacher Under Arrest" Lodi scandal. Oh great, I see administrators can personally arrest teachers and then make excuses that they did so under the name being just like "Rosa Parks." What????

Here are some letters to the editor after the scandal broke.

"I read the front page article in the News-Sentinel titled, "Admin Places Teacher Under Arrest" on Dec. 24. In the latter part of the article, I was struck by the comment that Principal Patricia Lingerfelt compared Lurdes Rosales' experience to that of Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat on a bus in the segregated South.
To compare Rosales' experience to the injustice and bigotry that Rosa Parks and Black Americans experienced on a daily basis in the South is not only laughable, but truly an insult to Parks' amazing legacy and the incredible courage shown by her that day.

Ron Tobeck

Web Link

"I read the article "Admin places teacher under arrest," Dec. 24, with disbelief. I was employed by the Lodi Unified School District as a teacher for 20 years. I was under the impression that administration does not comment on personal matters.

Consequently, when I read that the principal of Lodi Middle School compared the action of the vice principal to Rosa Parks' historic stand against injustice, I was perplexed and then — well, horrified!
She then goes on to say that the students understand it is a private situation, yet the incident is described, with details, in the newspaper! Middle school students are able to read a newspaper.

I need to disclose that two of my children had Mr. Jon Lapachet for a teacher and coach. In their opinion he was a favorite teacher and inspirational coach. He always acted with integrity and humor, and used meaningful and effective instructional strategies.

The article generated a lively discussion before our Christmas Eve dinner. My take-away from my family's thoughts was that the comments made by the principal were inappropriate and the spurious action taken by the vice principal was unwarranted.

To think that Lodi's hard-working and understaffed police force had to respond to a situation that should have been handled through proper LUSD administrative and personal channels, is beyond my comprehension.

Nancy Mullen

Web Link

Posted by Lodi????
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 24, 2012 at 11:53 am

The Lodi article says that the two administrators from Lodi who arrested the teacher just resigned a couple of months ago.

Web Link

Excerpts are -

"The teacher's union has protested the arrest, saying it was made outside of district protocol for teacher discipline. The majority of Lodi Middle School's staff attended a Jan. 17 board meeting seeking leadership changes...."

Posted by Jack
a resident of another community
on May 24, 2012 at 11:56 am

Actually, according to reports in the Stockton newspaper they really liked Odie when they interviewed him. The district is dysfunctional, had been through several superintendents recently and they just were unable to get their stuff together to offer a contract and make a hire. Stockton just finally hired someone two years later and the same issues appeared.

Odie's experience is primarily secondary schools but he has been an assistant superintendent for a long time. 1996-2003 he led secondary schools and briefly human resources in Elk Grove. 2005-2010 he was the head of all education services (a chief academic officer if you will) in Lodi. He oversaw both the assistant superintendent of elementary and secondary education in his "chief academic officer" post. So he does have experience leading elementary school education. The new superintendent wisely cut the post though when budget cuts hit so for the last 2 years he has been leading only the secondary school side of things, so yes, Odie has been looking for a new job. He was also a high school principal for six years - all in Elk Grove (1992-1996, 2003-2005). He is big on preparing every student for college so he is actually a better fit for Pleasanton than he was for Lodi which is transitioning to more career/technical education (along with college prep) due to the wide array of demographics in that district. One needs to remember that Odie alone cannot change the API - the issues in the Lodi community (the school district also takes in a LARGE part of Stockton) are generational and are not going to be fixed in just a few years.

Posted by Bob
a resident of Birdland
on May 24, 2012 at 12:05 pm

The schools and government must learn how to function with less over head. Private industry figured this out at least 20 years ago. People are expected to get their jobs done without oversite and managemnet. I'll bet the teachers can their jobs done wothout an assisatnat sup. In fact they could get their jobs done without the sup. It's time to cut out the overhead and put the money in the classroom.

Posted by William
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 24, 2012 at 12:08 pm

The current Assistant Supt. is retiring at age 55.

STRS (State Teachers Retirement System) and CalPERS data indicates that females who retire at age 55 have a life expectancy of 85.3.
So you can work from age, say, 25, retire at age 55 and collect a pension for 30 years.

30 years work, 30 years pension. Then we wonder why STRS has billions in unfunded liability.
Now, to be fair, if you retire at age 55 you don't get the same pension as you would at age 67.
Actually from a personal perspective, even if you have great health, I'd advise taking less at age 55...
Those extra 10 or 12 years are worth it.

But in a large sense, clearly this kind of early retirement essentially dooms the pension plans in future years.
BTW, my father and sister are or were both retired on the STRS plan.
Both worked until age 66 or longer.

Here are the latest facts from STRS (the official site)
For all teachers etc. who retired in 2010/2011

Average age at retirement 61.9
Average years of service 25.5
Average annual pension $49,056

Now, $49,056 is not huge but consider the following.
Most people now begin working at age 23 and continue until age 66 or 67 if they want full Social Security. In other words, 43 or 44 years in their career.

If a Pleasanton teacher begins teaching at age 25 and retires at age 65, having a salary of $90,000, they will get a pension of $90,000 according to STRS. If you think, wait a minute, Pleasanton's average teacher salary is less than 90k, remember, the pension is based on what a teacher makes in their final years when salary is at the peak.

BTW, I do not think teacher pay nor pensions are excessive.
I am just tired of false figures being thrown out by the CTA and other groups, saying how the average retired teacher is only getting $2,500 per month. Totally misleading, throwing in teachers who only worked 5 years and 10 years, and those who retired 25 year ago when pension rates were lower.

OK, now I hope this individual enjoys their retirement.

Posted by Wood Shop, Please
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 24, 2012 at 12:10 pm

This is the statement that needs clarification: "The Stockton Record said he filed a request for reassignment in March when the district changed its focus from college preparatory to career and technical education."

Do you know that someone who can work with their hands and actually fix or make something is needed in our country? I wish someone would bring back vocational/technical education that students can track starting in the 9th grade. Many students have no desire to go to college and spend a fortune for no guarantee of any marketable skill. The Pleasanton high schools miss the mark for many students due to this bias.

Posted by Lodi????
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 24, 2012 at 12:25 pm

Interesting that the two administrators in Lodi that have resigned effective June 30 because of war with the teacher's union over administrators actually doing citizens' arrests of teachers on campus in front of the students have the same last day of employment in Lodi as Douglas.

Web Link

I wonder if Pleasanton's school district offices saw all of these Lodi articles? I wonder if Jack from another community with all of those details about Odie Douglas could actually be a friend or relative of Odie Douglas?

Posted by Lodi????
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 24, 2012 at 12:33 pm

According to Lodi newspaper from May 18, 2012 Web Link, the Lodi board of trustees accepted a request from Odie Douglas to leave the job on March 6 and his current salary is $136,701.

That differs greatly from what is reported as his current salary. This means he has been given a $26,000 raise in base pay to come to Pleasanton.


Posted by Joe
a resident of Ruby Hill
on May 24, 2012 at 1:43 pm

Random thoughts...
1.)Agree with Sandy -possibly people could reserve judgement on the individual until they actually meet him...
2.)"If your job has been with the job title of being in charge of curriculum and instruction and the job you are being hired for is in charge of curriculum and instruction, it is absolutely relevant that this incompetent District in its stupidity just hired an individual from a District with API scores over 150 points LESS than Pleasanton." Did you look at the demographics of Lodi? 15.2% of the population have a bach/grad degree and approx 25% don't have a high school diploma. $40K is the ave family income. They appear to have a somewhat different economic/educational starting point which would suggest lower scores. What might be a more relevant point -has there been growth in the API scores under his watch?
3.) Industry standards -compensation, vacation pay, benefits, 'perks'. Every 'industry' public and private has them and employers have to offer a competitive package to attract/retain what they perceive as good talent. Just because SV offers less doesn't make an entirely different industry wrong-maybe you need to negotiate a better entry package.
4.) 'Jimbo'... the word is 'tubes', not 'toobs'-we should ignore you and the ignorance the rest of your statement for obvious reasons...
5.) Starting any sentence with "I'll bet" (Bob) leaves no doubt in the mind of any reader that you actually have no idea what you are talking about.
Back to point 1.) Why don't people reserve judgement on the person, and maybe even the people hiring him, until they've either met the man or have a better idea of his complette qualifications, ideas, and strengths that he brings to the job.

Posted by Cheryl
a resident of Foothill High School
on May 24, 2012 at 2:17 pm

Wow! So much venom! I have no idea if the gentleman is qualified. I know he dodged a bullet by avoiding Natomas Unified. I suggest being watchful but hopeful.

Posted by jimbo1
a resident of another community
on May 24, 2012 at 2:33 pm

I bet after they removed him from the assoc job to an asst job Lodi couldn't wait to get rid of this guy. The incompetance behind this decision is stunning. Don't they realize we can see threw them?

Posted by Ptown Truth Tellers
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 24, 2012 at 3:00 pm

You've got to wonder why this guy would make a lateral career move for less pay in a higher cost of living area.

Makes me think he was incompetent at his old job - but as an affirmative action employee he gets shuffled around from district to district - and hiring him is a good PR move to give Pleasanton more of a "diverse" image. And there's probably some wishful liberal thinking that a person of color will be able to turnaround the poor performing blacks and Hispanics - who always seem to have poor API scores and poor academic performance in Pleasanton despite having access to the same teachers and schools as the white, Asian and East Indian kids.

Posted by Jack
a resident of another community
on May 24, 2012 at 3:13 pm

jimbo, he was moved from associate superintendent to assistant superintendent because the associate superintendent job was eliminated due to budget cuts. Yes, Lodi Unified actually cut an administrative post. The Assistant superintendent was moved into another job in the district that had opened up due to retirement.

Ptowntruthtellers, you might want to brush up on the facts. Odie is making $137,000 in Lodi. He will be making $165,000 in Pleasanton. I am fascinated as to how this is a pay cut.

Posted by Sandy
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 24, 2012 at 4:48 pm

I believe Dr. Douglas will be making several thousand dollars less this fall than Ms. Galbo-Lorimer made in the fall of 2007.

Web Link

Does anyone know where Dr. Douglas competed his doctorate?

Posted by Sawyer's son
a resident of Canyon Meadows
on May 24, 2012 at 4:56 pm

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]

Posted by Sandy
a resident of Mohr Park
on May 24, 2012 at 5:14 pm

I find your remark offensive, Sawyer's son.

Posted by Lodi????
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 24, 2012 at 5:54 pm

How can the board possibly justify increasing an individual person's salary from Lodi at $136,701.00 to $165,000.00. (Now you know why pension costs are so high and why the state is going broke). Who gets a $30,000 pay raise when they jump jobs in the private sector?

Cindy Galbo-Lorimar, who has been with this district for over a decade, and her existing salary has nothing to do with this.

Also, regarding personnel being confidential, if you look at the central valley media websites, according to many articles, Douglas has been broadcasting to various reporters about wanting to get another job in another district for over a year now since he was demoted. He even announced himself as in the running for several job openings that he didn't get in the central valley.

Posted by Barton not bloat
a resident of Birdland
on May 24, 2012 at 6:28 pm

I know what's happened. Madame Tussaud has taken over our school board! Only wax model robots could approve such an appointment. They must be totally deaf to us out here. What we want is Barton reading back, our band kept, our athletic programs intact, and our children educated. We are not in the slightest way interested in stuffing more scarce cash into bloated pensions and leisure work schedules. The compensation package is a disgusting insult to working people in this community. Out with Madame Tussaud's team. Time for a whole new school board with real thinking people.

Posted by Been Here
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 24, 2012 at 6:50 pm


How does experience in Lodi benefit Pleasanton? Lodi wishes they were Pleasanton!

Posted by Jack
a resident of another community
on May 24, 2012 at 7:40 pm

1) Cindy Galbo's employment contract from 2007 is readily available if one googles Cindy Galbo employment contract. She was hired from Alameda Unified at $176,887/year. While Cindy had been with the district a long time, Odie has been an assistant superintendent longer than Ms. Galbo and has a doctorate (which Ms. Galbo does not have).

2) Also Sandy, I believe Odie completed his EdD at University of San Francisco. BA and MA (Special Education) from Sacramento State.

4) Ptowntruthtellers - Odie was at Elk Grove for about 25 years and at Lodi for 7 years. How is that shuffling districts constantly as you seem to insinuate? Your language about him being an affirmative action employee is offensive.

Posted by Jack
a resident of another community
on May 24, 2012 at 7:41 pm

Scratch the part of Cindy being hired from another district. I was mistaken.

Posted by Tennessee Jed
a resident of Jensen Tract
on May 25, 2012 at 7:40 am

I wonder how much "value" will be returned for $170K?

Posted by Enough is enough
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 25, 2012 at 7:46 am

They hired an unnecessary administrator while making cuts that impact the students, why?

I will vote NO in november, enough is enough.

Posted by Parent
a resident of Alisal Elementary School
on May 25, 2012 at 10:22 am

I was at the Alisal open house last night while teachers were talking about this in shock. They hired this Lodi guy even though it is readily available on the internet that the three administrators just resigned after the teacher was citizen-arrested in front of students by one of the administrators.

My question--Does anyone vet people at the district?

After the TVU fiasco where PUSD had an actual criminal operation issuing bogus degrees housed on their school sites, I don't think they do. Like the Oikos situation, at any time, anyone seeking a 'refund' from defrauded could have shown up on PUSD's campus and started shooting people. I don't think PUSD vets anyone or anything.

There are two to five years at least of news stories readily Googleable about the guy being demoted and on a gripe-fest about leaving LUSD and searching for other positions in other districts. Why would PUSD want to hire someone who takes their issues and baggage with their employer, who has demoted him, to the media? At a thirty thousand dollar a year increase?

I was involved in the Home Depot at Stanley/Bernal neighborhood opposition a few years ago where the city reversed their vote (after a recall threat of elected officials) on its approval. Much of the critical Home Depot info that led to the reverse vote was not readily available on the internet.

In this situation, it is quite the opposite and these are google stories everywhere to be found, some front page news stories. From the 13 year old honor roll student girl who asked her PE teacher a question during a bow and arrow class and ended up hauled off by authorities for 'brandishing a weapon' to the citizen arrest of the teacher by the administrator, it is all there on Google. We don't need someone at war with students and the teachers union with this baggage at PUSD.

Maybe they did Google stuff and just didn't care.

The only hope is that like the council rescinded their approval on Home Depot, the board will rescind their approval of this contract.

How this got by the Pleasanton Teachers Association and CSEA is beyond me.

Posted by Sandy
a resident of Mohr Park
on May 25, 2012 at 10:40 am

I'm puzzled by the characterization that Dr. Douglas was "demoted".

Here's a parallel example from Pleasanton. Glen Starks is not being "demoted" with the elimination of his position as the director of adult and community education. Because of budget cuts, his position is being redesigned, and with a reduced set of responsibilities will come a change in title and in pay. The budget cuts are not in any way a comment on the quality of work Glen has done. Glen has done great work with adult education, summer school, and parent education. The budget cuts indicate that other programs within the district are being prioritized over adult and parent education and summer school.

My understanding from news reports is that Dr. Douglas experienced a similar change in title and responsibilities due to budget cuts and the board's approval of the redesign of his job.

Where things are murky in news reports is on the question of his salary. I would think that the change in title and responsibilities came with a decrease in salary. Perhaps that is why published reports of his salary differ, with some saying it was in the $160k range and others saying it was in the $135k range. It would make sense to me that an associate superintendent would be in the higher range. Glenn, is there any chance that you could dig deeper on that?

Posted by Sandy
a resident of Mohr Park
on May 25, 2012 at 10:50 am

Also, following up on Alisal parent's comment that "They hired this Lodi guy even though it is readily available on the internet that the three administrators just resigned after the teacher was citizen-arrested in front of students by one of the administrators."

My understanding is that Dr. Douglas was not one of the administrators who were involved in the citizen arrest or its aftermath. He was not present at the time, and the only record of public comment that I can find from him is in this article:

Web Link

Dr. Douglas is quoted as follows: "We're moving forward. We have to," Douglas said, refusing further comment and calling it a personnel matter.

An internal investigation was conducted, and the administrators who resigned were the principal and the vice principal who actually carried out the citizen's arrest. Dr. Douglas had responsibility for conducting the search for a new principal and vice principal.

Posted by Lodi????
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 25, 2012 at 11:03 am

I was forwarded some info that is also available regarding Lodi Unified about an age and sex discrimination case and lawsuit where under Douglas there were 6 curriculum specialists, 5 which were women over the age of 53 were suddenly let go. I don't know if this was right before the demotion or not. I think Douglas's demotion happened after Bill Huyett went to Berkeley Unified.

Lodi Unified School District cuts the second-highest district position

"Douglas' position and the duties of his office have been questioned publicly before. According to the district website, the associate superintendent's office provides leadership to pre-kindergarten through 12th grade and the adult schools through assessment, research and evaluation; curriculum and instruction; and technology services."

Web Link


"The LUSD school board has eliminated Douglas’ position as associate superintendent to save money and essentially demoted him to assistant superintendent of secondary education."

Web Link

Posted by Sandy
a resident of Mohr Park
on May 25, 2012 at 11:06 am

Finally, on the issue of Dr. Douglas having engaged in a gripe-fest about his desire to leave Lodi... it seems to me that Dr. Douglas was "outed" by the media as a candidate for the superintendent position in Stockton two years ago: Web Link

He confirmed that he interviewed for the position in another news story, but didn't say anything I could construe as griping: Web Link

This possibility that candidates will be "outed" is a drawback of using community panels to screen finalists for superintendent positions. There are certainly benefits, and PUSD's board appointed a panel to interview Ms. Ahmadi and other finalists for the superintendent position two years ago. As far as I know none of the other candidates were "outed". If they were, that would reflect poorly on the members of the community panel, not on the candidates.

can someone provide links to news stories where he was "griping"? or is this characterization coming from people in Lodi who have been talking with people in Pleasanton?

Otherwise, I have to chalk all this up to gossip, and if the board felt that they couldn't make a hire if there was any negative gossip about their preferred candidate, they would never be able to hire anyone.

I haven't met Dr. Douglas and I was not involved in any way in the hiring process. Either other folks have access to a lot of stuff that I can't dig up on google, or the kind of "googling" that has been done that leads to the conclusion that he's loose-lipped, or anti-union, or whatever, before anyone actually meets him.... seems not that well-grounded in a careful reading of the google links.

Posted by Stephanie
a resident of another community
on May 25, 2012 at 11:18 am

The Stockton Record always outs superintendent candidates. Everywhere I've lived, I've never seen a newspaper do it more.

Posted by Been Here
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 25, 2012 at 8:13 pm

I think Pleasanton has aspirations for educational improvement. Why then, would we be looking to Lodi for an assistant superintendent? If we wish to upwardly improve, we should be looking toward districts with a proven track record of success.


I rest my case.

Posted by Lodi????
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 25, 2012 at 11:17 pm

Been Here, I agree with you exactly.

The Independent had a headline on the newspaper front page yesterday "Trivalley could become the next Silicon Valley"

Stop the presses! Replace with:

"Trivalley could become the next Lodi!"

Posted by Proud to be a real American
a resident of Heritage Valley
on May 26, 2012 at 8:20 am

I haven't seen anything this scandelous since they hired the new police chief. What is going on here? And you all know EXACTLY what I mean!

Posted by Fred
a resident of Birdland
on May 26, 2012 at 11:23 am

To Proud,

I do know what you mean. The police chief was a disgrace and so is this guy. Democrats and Obama are destroying this country!!

Posted by Daniel Bradford
a resident of Foothill High School
on May 27, 2012 at 12:02 pm

Re: The 18 days sick leave in Dr. Douglas' contract: You can consider this a potential retirement bonus, since when Dr. Douglas retires from PUSD, he will collect the cash value of his unused sick days. If Dr. Douglas retires in 5 years and doesn't use any of his sick days, PUSD will owe him for 90 days of pay, etc. 90 days x $737 = $66,330. In other words, the annual cash value of Dr. Douglas' sick leave days are $13,266.

Granting an administrator 18 days of sick leave does seem excessive, given that PUSD teachers are only granted 10 days annually. If Dr. Douglas stays with PUSD long enough, he could reap a very large windfall from those unused sick days.

I don't know how many sick days are granted in other districts to administrators, so I can't judge whether or not that part of Dr. Douglas' compensation package is needed for PUSD to compete for top candidates or not. But I am beginning to realize why some teachers aspire to leave the classroom and enter administration: the benefits and pay are much, much better.

Posted by Lodi????
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 27, 2012 at 1:45 pm

With these outrageous salaries and pensions, government is deferring debt, building up billions of dollars of obligations that future taxpayers, children and grandchildren must cover. Most of the time, the salaries of these administrators are far greater than their qualifications and performance on the job.

Academic Performance Index (API) is the measure for academic performance for California schools, with the State of California having a minimum of 800 required. Lodi is 50-60 points BELOW 800 and can't even come close to making the State's minimum cut-off. Pleasanton is over 900.

I seriously doubt the superintendent, somehow hired by the district with no superintendent experience in the first place, even bothered to tell the community panel and the four members of the Board that voted to hire this person these facts.

You would think for the good of PUSD, the superintendent would want to hire a stellar candidate. But looks like she pushed to bring someone on board that superintendent that is the opposite.

Posted by Lodi????
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 27, 2012 at 4:57 pm

According to this website below, in Lodi there is something called a 'cabinet' that is the management structure of the district there. According to that, curriculum, assessment, instruction and elementary schools/elementary education do not report to Douglas (maybe they did prior to the demotion). He is only in charge of the secondary schools. So does anyone know whether this means PUSD has hired him to supervise Village, Foothill and Amador only?

Web Link

Superintendent's Cabinet
Dr. Cathy Washer, Superintendent
[email protected]

Mr. Mike McKilligan, Assistant Superintendent
[email protected]

Mr. Art Hand, Assistant Superintendent
Facilities and Planning
[email protected]

Mr. Tim Hern, Chief Business Officer
[email protected]

Dr. Odie Douglas, Assistant Superintendent
Secondary Education
[email protected]

Ms. Catherine Pennington, Assistant Superintendent
Elementary Education
[email protected]

Ms. Lisa Kotowoski, Administrative Director
[email protected]

Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on May 27, 2012 at 5:29 pm

Some districts can afford directors for elementary and secondary, but I doubt anyone is paying for an assistant superintendent to do only secondary, and then only high schools at that.

Posted by curious
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 27, 2012 at 8:48 pm

18 sick days??? Who's minding the store here? Seems like Bowser & Grant with their backgrounds should be asking the tough questions here!! This does wonders for the credibility of the district!! And I'm sure another parcel tax is just around the corner. . .

Posted by youareuniformed
a resident of Civic Square
on May 27, 2012 at 11:39 pm

Lodi is twice the size of PUSD. So not unusual to just have a supe oversee just secondary.

In PUSD the Assistant Supe of ed services oversees all 14 Principals, Director of curriculum, Director of Special Ed. , Director of Pupil Services, who also heads school health services and counselors, the district media center (oversees all of the purchases of materials and books), and receives all the complaints against teachers and administrators.

Before layoffs, the assistant supe also oversaw a director of secondary curriculum, who took a principalship and then was hired by Palo Alto as their assistant supe of ed services, the credentialed librarian in the district's media center, who provided leadership to our two high school credentialed librarians and library techs, a director of assessments - 2 directors and district librarian have all been eliminated 3 years ago.

Wow. Dr. Douglas has not even started and you people have pitch forks and torches out. It is no surprise there isn't an overwhelming amount of applicants for positions here. If this blog is an indication of the friendly, open and inviting community that we are - I would not apply. People, if you want good people to apply in this town for any of the public positions - please check your attitude. And for those reading these blog who are not from here - this is not a good representation of the community. Most people in this town are thoughtful and open citizens who care about making our community the best place to live and work.

Posted by Lodi????
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 28, 2012 at 12:47 am

Must be extremely demoralizing for internal staff to have to go to other districts to get a promotion and who get cutoff rudely after a couple of minutes when they take the time after a long day of work to speak at an an evening public board meeting. Example-one staff member asked 'is this a democracy' when cutoff earlier this week.

Again, why did the board hire someone from an extremely low performing district for this position, especially when it already had an extremely well qualified, broad based internal candidate with both elementary and secondary experience to fill this role, Dr. Charles Young.

Also, according to the Web Link, the uniformed person is not correct. Charles Young, Ed.D. was hired as Palo Alto's Associate Superintendent of Educational Services. The press release is below. He was hired by Palo Alto and touted in the PAUSD press release as coming from a high performing K-12 district..."Pleasanton is a high-performing K-12 district with 14,500 students."

Press release from --

Palo Alto schools get new education director -- Administrator from Pleasanton named associate superintendent for educational services

"A Pleasanton school administrator has been named to a high-level post in the Palo Alto Unified School District. Charles Young, director of secondary education in the Pleasanton Unified School District, replaces Virgina Davis, who was Palo Alto's associate superintendent for educational services before retiring in June.

The position carries broad oversight over education for Palo Alto's 12,000 students, including curriculum, testing, student services and professional development. Pleasanton is a high-performing K-12 district with 14,500 students in nine elementary schools, three middle schools, two comprehensive high schools and one continuation high school.

Young was an elementary school principal in Pleasanton for five years before becoming director of secondary education there. Prior to that, he was a middle school principal and high school English teacher. He holds a bachelor's degree in English and a master's in educational leadership from California State University, East Bay, as well as a doctorate in organizational leadership from the University of LaVerne in southern California.

"We are delighted to have Dr. Young join our team and fill this important position," Superintendent Kevin Skelly said.

"His broad K-12 experience will serve him well as he helps lead the educational work of our district.""

Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on May 28, 2012 at 7:56 am

Dr. Young has been in Palo Alto for a year now, so he would not have been an internal candidate for this Pleasanton position. There is no way to know if he applied to come back. But, if we are going to blame people on the blogs for appearing to be inhospitable, we also have to ask what is going on within the District that people are leaving.

Posted by Tim
a resident of Downtown
on May 28, 2012 at 9:59 am

Welcome Dr. Douglas to Pleasanton! My advice....don't read the Pleasanton Weekly blogs............I for one will give you the opportunity to actually begin your position and will hold my assessment of your work for Pleasanton once you've actually had the opportunity to begin your job!

It is a wonder that Pleasanton Unified can actually recruit and hire any Administrators with all the negativity that envelops this community.

Posted by Daniel Bradford
a resident of Foothill High School
on May 28, 2012 at 10:29 am

Tim: It's nice of you to welcome Dr. Douglas to PUSD and to Pleasanton. I hope Dr. Douglas does a good job for the students of PUSD.

But you're wrong when you say that there's a lot of negativity in Pleasanton. Outside the confines of the Pleasanton Weekly, with scurrilous comments encouraged by the cloak of anonymity, Pleasanton residents are overall quite supportive of the schools. Reading the comments of anonymous folks (some of whom create multiple online "personas", so they appear to have more support than they actually do) in the Pleasanton Weekly is NOT a good indicator of the true nature of Pleasantonians.

Administrators leaving PUSD is not an indicator that there's something wrong with the district, either: PUSD is a small school district and even in the best of times, there's not that many higher-level jobs to go around. It's natural for administrators to move outside a small district if they find a good opportunity elsewhere. Thanks to the generous parcel tax that Palo Alto residents voted for their schools in 2010 ($589 per year per parcel), Palo Alto USD is in a much better financial condition than Pleasanton USD.

Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on May 28, 2012 at 12:33 pm

Daniel, People get lured away by better opportunity; that doesn't mean there aren't other reasons for leaving. After all, Palo Alto also is a small district. Even PAUSD is feeling the pinch though. Despite the parcel tax, they too have let class size grow . . . not as high as PUSD, and PAUSD is able to offer it K-5. The district is at the top at the state level by most measures and in many national measures. If you are an administrator at the DO, you have a good chance of becoming a superintendent elsewhere (two in the eight years I was there and one who served as an interim a couple of times).

Posted by xyz
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 28, 2012 at 5:41 pm

" we also have to ask what is going on within the District that people are leaving."

These blogs, letters to the editor of Pleasanton Weekly, and dogmatic opposition to parcel taxes were all important reasons people are leaving.

Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on May 28, 2012 at 7:53 pm

xyz, Maybe, but they are not the only reasons. It's interesting that when for the parcel tax, the words that follow are "we're so close"; but when blaming others, it's "dogmatic opposition." For me, it's specificity of language . . . then I'll campaign in favor.

As to these blogs, I'm told no one reads them; and then the same people will say they don't like what they see. In some measure, a lot of truth has been exposed and shared here.

Posted by Lodi????
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 28, 2012 at 8:39 pm

Most govt/public sector/school districts leaders are smart enough to do the "...when we mess up we 'fess up..." approach to whatever the latest screw-up de jour is. Except PUSD.

It doesn't matter whether the internal fiasco caused staff morale to nosedive or whether the clueless ones in charge hired an unqualified bad hire. Most of the time, govt is smart enough to eventually take responsibility and fix their problems. Sometimes, like MDUSD, they do school climate surveys to find out who the inept and atrocious school administrators are.

PUSD just digs themselves a bigger hole.

Posted by Stuck in Lodi
a resident of another community
on May 31, 2012 at 3:20 pm

Quit the assault on Lodi. LUSD covers a vast portion of North Stockton, due to the fact that the greedy school board wanted tax dollars from farm land with no kids that became badly planned neighborhoods that have gone in the toilet with the rest of Stockton. Lodi, however, is a well cultured community of rooted multigenerational families with a thriving wine industry and an overdose of community, character, and charm. PLEASE do not associate us with Stockton or the mess created there over generations. Our only malice was being greedy and short sighted 40+ years ago when LUSD was unified. As for Douglas, have fun with that one. He is a pompous academic with no clue about the private sector or real world. And, for the record, I is (sic) a University graduate.

Posted by Lodi????
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 31, 2012 at 5:09 pm

You know something is really wrong when a school bureaucrat/paper pusher from Lodi makes more than the Governor of CA.

I read in the Valley Times that all CA legislators and the governor will be required to take a 5% pay cut.

So when will all school district employees have to take the 5% pay cut too?

Posted by S. Johnson
a resident of Foothill High School
on Jan 6, 2013 at 8:30 pm

"Doctor" Douglas was a major supporter of the educational pronouncement that all high school students should go to four years of college. Lodi/North Stockton has a very challenging community of students with a wide number of languages represented and a major section of the population on government aid. Despite studies that show 70 percent of California jobs don't require a four year degree and the value of a vocational or technical education creates an employable population. F workers, Odie Douglas followed the dictates of the State Board policy makers as a proponent of a college degree for all. Walking lockstep with the State Educational bureaucrats puts you on the fast lane for career advancement, the good of students be damned. He also carried an agenda that saw many issues as "racial" in context, labeling the entire staff of one high school as racist. Be ready for many African American hires, competent or not. They will be hired. When the new school board didn't buy into these policies he saw the light, seeking employment elsewhere. LUSD has now returned to offering realistic course choices that are allowing students to enroll in basic math and science courses when apprpriate, instead of college prep for all. We are also hoping to return to vocational courses in automotive tech, welding, and growth in our agriculture curriculum. Keep in. Mind that an Edd. Degree is not a Phd. And thus does not a real doctor make.

Posted by Elizabeth
a resident of Mohr Park
on Jan 7, 2013 at 12:25 pm

In spite of all the negative comments here, I will reserve judgement until I meet Dr. Douglas. As a parent of a severely disabled special needs student, I have had the pleasure of meeting several of the Associate Superintendents of Education at my student's triannual. While I have not always agreed with their suggestions, I have always understood where they were coming from. Before judging make sure you know educational law and state and federal requirements. Many times administrators and teachers are hamstrung by the elected officials who have little understanding of education. I will welcome Dr. Douglas the way I did Ms Galbro. While we may disagree with the way current PUSD top administrators are doing things, they have the same goal of keeping PUSD a high attaining and academic district.

Posted by Take him back
a resident of another community
on Jun 13, 2013 at 10:25 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger, please take Charles Young back. He has turned into a disaster in Palo Alto. While you are at it, take your former boss with you as well. It is not going well and we can't seem to get rid of him.

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