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School board postpones superintendent search discussion

Original post made on Jun 4, 2015

The Pleasanton school board voted 4-0 Wednesday to postpone the discussion about conducting a search for a replacement for Pleasanton schools superintendent Parvin Ahmadi, who is resigning from the school district after accepting an offer to become the new superintended of Castro Valley Unified School District starting July 1.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, June 4, 2015, 6:52 AM

Comments (33)

Posted by ActionPlease
a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Jun 4, 2015 at 8:32 am

So we don't have a superintendent? And the Board did nothing to start the process to find a new one? Congratulations for having a meeting where you accomplished nothing ... wow ... go Pleasanton school board.

Posted by Splits
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 4, 2015 at 9:50 am

Even though there were 4 board members present, they still need 3 votes to have a decision. My bet is that they were split 2-2 on only action discussed which led them to the decision to postpone a decision until the 5th trustee can attend.

Posted by meadowlark
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jun 4, 2015 at 10:25 am

I have lived in Pleasanton since 1965. During that time there were several nation wide searches for a superintendent. The results were mediocre, at best. Either the school board hires a poor search team, or the board members don't have much luck in selecting among the candidates. Why not save the money, advertise the position, and create an interview committee with board members, district and school administrations, elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers, classified staff, parents and students to review the resumes and interview the candidates?

Posted by BlueDog
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 4, 2015 at 12:23 pm

Did any one read the story in todays Times-Herald? Parvin was paid $264,919 for 14,800 students in Pleasanton. The Castro Valley Superintendent was paid $317,213 for 9,300 students. I'm the only one who thinks these salaries are out of control?

Posted by Damon
a resident of Foothill Knolls
on Jun 4, 2015 at 2:32 pm

@Blue Dog: "I'm the only one who thinks these salaries are out of control?"

What do you think that a fair salary for a superintendent is and how would you justify your conclusion?

BTW, noticed that, as typical on these forums, you took the "glass half empty" perspective and complained about both salaries, rather than taking the "glass half full" perspective and cheering the fact that we were paying our superintendent less dollars for managing more students than a neighboring district's. We do love to complain on these forums, don't we?

Posted by MP
a resident of Happy Valley
on Jun 4, 2015 at 4:01 pm

I have zero issue with the salary being paid. The position is the CEO of the school district and if you compare the salary to most other CEOs who also get incentives like stock options and such, under $300k is a bargain.

Posted by pack your bags board
a resident of Danbury Park
on Jun 4, 2015 at 8:44 pm

The most pathetic school board ever. How can you not make hiring a new superintendent priority one? No excuses, period.

Posted by Bob
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 4, 2015 at 9:11 pm

Could it be they are considering Jon Vranish? Or maybe they will do the right thing and submit their letters of resignation

Posted by Citizen
a resident of Birdland
on Jun 4, 2015 at 10:27 pm


Posted by JoJo Idiot Circus Boy
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Jun 5, 2015 at 8:30 am make a decision to not make a decision is....just the most ridiculous concept I have ever heard. It is that lack of decisiveness that only breeds further doubt and mistrust toward an organization. These are children we are talking about. The future of our country. To decide not to decide....ineptitude and lack of courage at its finest.

Posted by pleasanton was nice forty years ago
a resident of Del Prado
on Jun 5, 2015 at 8:42 am

over $200,000 for roughly six months work. Public service my a@@. Our government employees are ripping us off. When did it change from became a school teacher and admin to contribute to society and help the young ones to how can I make millions of dollars on the backs of kids. In the real world people like the current sup cant get that CEO job because they are not good enough. The reason they are here is because they cant compete. So they all collude to drive up their wages and when questioned they attack personally that you must hate kids. Good Grief. If the recent fiasco in the school district and the fact the current sup snuck out the back door in the middle of the night to go ruin another public school district should say it all. But if your to dumb to get it blame a teacher. These are not public employees anymore its called self service.

Posted by Citizen
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 5, 2015 at 9:06 am

There goes the neighborhood!!

Posted by JeriAnn May
a resident of Mohr Park
on Jun 5, 2015 at 9:15 am

Can someone tell me who the VP of Human Resources is? I've searched but can't find it. I am very curious. Thank you!

Posted by Concerned
a resident of Del Prado
on Jun 5, 2015 at 9:18 am

I predicted this a few months ago. Wait until all the details come out about the Walnut Grove mess. We should spend some time figuring out what we need before spending a lot of money on a search. Do we have someone in the district that could do the job. Our current superintendent was pro-union, anti-parent, not transparent, and out of touch with traditional values and customs in the US. We don't need someone to revolutionize the district and create an international school, but get it back on track with a clear strategy and common sense thinking. We have great schools because of the teachers and parent support, not due to anything the administration has done. Do no harm is probably the best moto for our superintendent search.

Posted by I Know!
a resident of Rosewood
on Jun 5, 2015 at 9:57 am

The Director of Human Resources (listed on the District website, Human Resources, Staff) is Mark McCoy.

Posted by Kim
a resident of Ponderosa
on Jun 5, 2015 at 10:23 am

The asst superintendent of HR is Bill Faraghan. IMHO he's an idiot. I dealt with him as a parent long before the Veanesh fiasco. I was not surprised at all by what happened to Jon Vranesh when it came out that Faraghan was involved in what unfolded. Faraghan's departure is a guft to the Pleasanton community, in my opinion.

Posted by Waste of time
a resident of Amador Estates
on Jun 5, 2015 at 12:57 pm

What a complete WASTE of time to meet. I would be FURIOUS if I was a board member and Mark Miller couldn't make it to a special session. Why in the world did they have the meeting at all? Was Mark a no-show or did they know in advance?

I was waiting to form an opinion on him, but so far I am not impressed at all. He is proving more and more that while he might understand business, he is clueless when it comes to education.

Posted by resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 5, 2015 at 1:31 pm

Board members have full time jobs too, you know. All of them have missed meetings from time to time due to work commitments. This was a meeting called at short notice and not on the regular schedule. I highly doubt that Mark Miller just decided not to go, or without very good reason,or without informing other Board members!

Posted by So resident
a resident of Beratlis Place
on Jun 5, 2015 at 1:33 pm

If that's the case, why did they even hold the meeting? Nothing could be done?

Posted by Joe
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Jun 5, 2015 at 1:41 pm

Waste of time - a lot of professional people travel for more than a week at a time. Mark may well have been out of town and was unable to attend on short notice (Sup announces on Friday, meeting on Wed) -it happens. Given the 'camps' that exist on the board, and the significance of the conversation, it wouldn't surprise anyone that they were only able to agree to meet once a majority could be found (as 'Splits' comments above.) I've met Mark and he's committed to the job so don't be too hard on the guy. I think there is a great deal of urgency to get the process moving forward -the current sup didn't do the community any favors with the abruptness of her announcement -no surprise there.

Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jun 5, 2015 at 5:29 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

It is disgusting the manner in which TROLLS run at the mouth and spew their garbage on this forum.

I call out the following:

Action Please - pack your bags - waste of time:

Each of you have mental issues. That is a given.
If either of you would attempt an email, or phone call, to any of the board members, they will speak with you, return your email, engage in a dialog with you.

But you elect to post your junk anonymously then relish in your dark world, while accomplishing absolutely nothing.

Posted by Actions Speak Loudly
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 5, 2015 at 8:31 pm

Hey- actions speak loudly. Love it how only one board member showed up to the Education Summit and none were at the Awards in Education event at the Firehouse theater. Oh but then again they were positive events and three board members dont acknowledge those, havent you noticed?

At both events many city council members were there. They saw the importance and made the time.

If you're too busy for the job, or your work doesnt allow you to attend events, then maybe you should not be doing the job.

Posted by Bay Area Native
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jun 6, 2015 at 1:04 pm

With Parvin's departure APT members would be wise to elect a leader who positively reflects the outstanding work most of them do. Their current rep comes across as disgruntled, acrimonious and self-serving. The opposite of their members. Janice has been combative since she started here Web Link

A fresh start with a new Super and APT leadership who value parents would be nice. Focus on our kids not your political agenda. That's what our classroom teachers, staff and parents do.

Posted by House cleaning
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 6, 2015 at 1:46 pm

I looked at the Board meetings upcoming personnel actions packet on the internet. It is time for some substantial house cleaning.

I hope that the District does not hire another Math Instructional Coach, and eliminates this position. Pupils need real math teachers and books and workbooks instead. Also, FYI - 18+14 does not equal 33, but instead equals 32 - would be nice if anyone they hire would pre-screened with an actual math test. [Only in Pleasanton Unified would a twitter account showcasing Common Core math have 18+14 = 33 with no one from the PUSD seeming to care that the math displayed on the Twitter page of its Instructional Coach is wrong Web Link ]

Douglas and Cazares need to join the departing Bill Faraghan, Parvin Ahmadi and violent descriptors ('perpetrator/victim') Zangle-phobe anti-Vranesh Marissa Swanson, receiver of $245,000 of taxpayer money, all who are listed on the exit list on the upcoming board meeting.

Next, the Board needs to eliminate all the so-called "Instructional Coaches." They can all join Ahmadi in Castro Valley. The money can be used to fund actual teachers instead as well as Reading Specialists that Ahmadi eliminated.

Also, why would PUSD be hiring a Special Projects Coordinator? The money must be flowing in to the PUSD and they must have excess funds to hire something that in private industry means a person is being exited from the organization. Or perhaps, they will place one of the useless cabinet positions in that position?

Also, they need to get rid of the current Special Education director and hire Jon Vranesh in that position. In Fremont during the Ahmadi reign, Fremont sued a child of parents that wanted a $350 assessment from East Bay Therapy of Pleasanton (used to be located downtown) Web Link . Instead, Fremont Unified spent in legal fees $20,000 in taxpayer funds to sue the child in order to not have to pay for the requested $350 assessment as East Bay Therapy of Pleasanton. Time to stop the nonsense that Ahmadi has brought to Pleasanton.

Posted by Ben
a resident of Mission Park
on Jun 6, 2015 at 3:38 pm

The district also needs to reclassify "English as a second language" students so they are not part of the Special Education Dept. and sucking the SE budget dry. If families choose not to teach their children English, they should not be stealing the funds from disabled children to teach them a language they CHOOSE not to. These kids are from bilingual families where English is known, but not taught because they know PUSD will provide special education resources to teach them. This infuriates me.

Posted by Unbelievable
a resident of Amador Estates
on Jun 6, 2015 at 5:11 pm

Parvin Ahmadi filing a lawsuit against a third grader. . . I suppose whoever recommended hiring her here should have looked more carefully at her Fremont behavior.

Posted by ESL Parent
a resident of Birdland
on Jun 8, 2015 at 7:57 pm

Our son was an English Language Learner and in the ESL program. I didn't realise the funds were from Special Ed. Our kids were not assessed as is the California when they entered the school district in their native language because there aren't enough from their country. We were told immersion is bad which is why there is the bilingual program at Vintage Hills (only Spanish/English). Our daughter started K there in the regular K class. A mom (white USA) spoke very loudly saying why isn't she in the bilingual program. I said to her, "She knows [native language] and is learning English with us and at school. Why should she also learn Spanish?" She repeated K at a different elementary school and was assessed with all the other K students as "above average American". Our son was promoted to the next grade.

Harvest Park (Hansen and Dwyer) moved our son out of ESL in 7th grade although the scores said he should be in it unless we wrote otherwise. I had written to stay in. His English teacher, Debbie Lawson, was FANTASTIC! However, the other teachers ignored that I said he was ESL and Hansen & Dwyer had not kept a note in his record as required by law. Son didn't pass the "get out of ESL" test until his senior year in high school. He did graduate & did pass the 10th grade test (7th or 8th grade competency) the first time.

ESL is not about "not wanting" or "trying" to learn English. We are not tonal so yes, our kids lost their first language. They did learn English and yes, the school sort of helped. Son probably had learning difficulties but the school just said "ESL". Both did graduate college.

When I was at university, I taught English as a Second Language to kids. It wasn't until the end of the year that I found out the mom had wanted to learn but I said "children in the home" so she took us (we worked in pairs) as a match. Since this was in an English speaking country, but not the USA, I received lots of ribbing on my ability to speak/write/teach English.

Posted by Mary
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Jun 8, 2015 at 10:52 pm

If the board has to appoint interim replacements then this supports that they were caught off guard. I initially believed Agmadi and Faraghan were forced out, but no longer feel this is the case.

I would suggest the board try to make contact with Cindy Galbo, a former Pleasanton asst superintendent who left when Ahmadi took over. It was positioned that Galbo was "retiring", but I doubt she actually did. As for Jon Vranesh, we also adore him, but I don't think he's quite experienced enough for a superintendent role. I read that they may be looking for a new dept head for special education which I think he would be a brilliant fit for. He seems to want to work in special education again so this would be a natural fit now that Amadi and Faraghan are gone. He still due a very nice settlement for what these two did to him and his career.

Posted by Get the Facts
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jun 9, 2015 at 1:52 pm

Bay Area Native: "Janice has been combative since she started here." Did you read the document? It's a layoff procedural process were employees are asking for the correct seniority date, during the horrible layoffs of 2008-2010. How is that combative?

ESL is NOT funded through special education. ESL is not a disability. The State through LCFF provides additional funding for English Language Learners.

A lot of trolls in this blog.

Posted by Get the Facts
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jun 9, 2015 at 1:59 pm

Mary: You would hire a sexual harasser as a superintendent? Interesting choice. Cindy Galbo was not a functional Asst Supt let alone being a Supt. Hold your horses there is no settlement for Vranish. Awaiting the findings from the Law Judge on his "Statement of Charges" aka why he was fired. I don't understand why people would support someone who has been a documented sexual harasser. Did you read the investigative report? Do you really think that there was a grand conspiracy of the supt and over 12 employees resulted in firing? Do you believe that we landed on the moon? or that the Holocaust was a hoax?

Posted by Kerr
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Jun 9, 2015 at 2:02 pm

Since August 2012, Special Education has pretty much been eliminated by Parvin Ahmadi for Pleasanton pupils.

In the words of our infamously idiotic soon to be departed superintendent: Web Link

"Let's be clear that our goal is to exit students from special education services," she said. "It's best for students to be in general education. Sometimes when they go into special education they have special needs, but our goal is to exit them." [quote from Ahmadi in Pleasanton Weekly]

Thus the spending is Special Education has been mostly limited to paying legal bills to a firm called Fagen Friedman and Fulfrost whose sole aim is to prevent children from receiving SPED services while maximizing their monthly billings to school districts. Last month, PUSD paid them $70K, which could fund a teacher for a year. This takes funds away from teachers and pupils and directly into the oversized bank accounts of unscrupulous lawyers.

Fagen Friedman and Fulfrost is the reincarnation of the Lozano Smith law firm, the law firm PUSD sued for negligence for the Amended Cooperative Fee Agreement with Signature Properties.

Posted by Leanne
a resident of Happy Valley
on Jun 9, 2015 at 2:53 pm

I think English as a second language is classified as special education based on a previous post by a well spoken (in English) parent that bragged that she took on the PUSD and won many years of special education for her child who was purposely not taught English at home and that had no disability. She was actually bragging about all the resources her child was given out of the special education department thinking the rest of we parents would support it. Needless to say, there were many other parents who expressed their anger at knowing where these funds come from.

Posted by Kara
a resident of Amador Estates
on Jun 9, 2015 at 3:26 pm

The board should report or discuss the special education changes that have been made in the past few years and those that are continuing to be made and what their 5 year vision is for special education. Is there a plan in place? Are we increasing qualified inclusion specialists to try to exit kids into the general ed classrooms? Has there been an increase in kids exited into general education? How successful has this program that Ms. Ahmadi initiated in 2012 been? Is there an increase in the graduation rate and test scores of the children that have been exited? Have there been increases or decreases in legal fees / settlements / complaints since 2012? Parents take the time to write to the school board with any concerns as well as stories of successful inclusion or special education/general education teacher successes so that special education needs can be addressed in the search for new administrators and that as a community we know what the direction is for this school district. Has the special education process improved or been more difficult a journey for parents since the 2012 changes?

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