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New principal prompts excitement, questions of leadership turnover from Walnut Grove parents

Original post made on Jan 9, 2016

Parents and guardians gathered into a Walnut Grove Elementary auditorium Thursday night to hear about the school's future following an announcement earlier in the week that the school has another new principal.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, January 8, 2016, 7:10 PM

Comments (5)

Posted by KGP
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jan 9, 2016 at 6:15 am

I am hopeful that this will be a good change. Much has changed at the district: principally new leadership at the very top. I also think that the district is making an effort to be more transparent than in the past. When JV left we didn't know for weeks, and then the email sent was pathetic. This time they notified us right away and had a meeting right away. I feel like the new leadership is aware of past transgressions and is making an effort to appease the high maintenance parents at the Grove. Don't get me wrong- I am one of them. I think we are a curse and a blessing; on the one hand we are demanding and can act entitled, on the other, we are very involved in our children's education and spend countless hours in the classrooms helping teachers and raising money to make our school a wonderful place to be.

I get that the for some people the knee-jerk reaction is mistrust, denial and incredulity, but we have to trust the new professionals to do their jobs and make the decisions that they are paid to make for our children. We will never get a detailed plan from them that some people have asked for; they are to some extent politicians, and they are bound by rules and regulations that we have no visibility into. I think the biggest problem is the institution, not really the people in it (with, of course, some exceptions). And the truth is,we are actually an amazing school district state - wide and our children are getting an excellent education. Most of what goes on for our kids goes on in the classroom, and our teachers are doing a great job with very few exceptions. We need to take the chips off our shoulders and get back to the open, caring, cooperative community that we all know we are beneath the surface of politics and drama. Just sayin...


Posted by pastandfuture
a resident of Birdland
on Jan 10, 2016 at 12:19 am

I wish the new principal at WG only the best. I hope he can put WG back on track so it is the school we all know it can be.

But I want to point out some issues with the above story. The issue with JV is not yet resolved. From what I can see it is still on going, in fact his case on the closed session agenda for Tuesday night. Not only did JV leave the school but so did the entire office staff as well as several teachers. A member of the janitorial staff was also made to leave against his will just this past September.

I too am hopeful that the new admin at the district level will do their jobsand be the professionals that we all know they can be but that hasn't always been the case in the past. Pretending problems don't still exist doesn't help anyone. Also looking at the salaries in the district it would seem that Jan Steeds move to assistant director of adult and career education appears to be a lateral move instead of a promotion as reported.

Like I said, I hope our school is finally on the mend.


Posted by Shaking my head....
a resident of Birdland
on Jan 12, 2016 at 11:48 am

I haven't had a child at WG in a few years but I did spend 18 years there and was pretty involved in the goings-on. Somehow WG has become a toxic environment for anyone who takes the job of principal. Don't let the official statement fool you: Jan Steed was forced out and received no support from the superintendent or the school board. She has been highly successful and effective at her previous positions and her removal is just the latest incident that proves to me it's not the principals, it's either the teachers or the parents who are creating "a hostile workplace." I'd like to know what the grievances are against her because the official statement implies that she left of her own accord and that's just not true.


Posted by Ellen
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jan 12, 2016 at 10:30 pm

Chris Connor was a fantastic vice principal at Fairlands! He is well liked and respected by students, parents, and staff. He will be sorely missed at Fairlands, but everyone is so happy for his advancement! Pleasanton needs principals like this! Walnut Grove is so lucky to have him! I understand the doubts that the community has, but I think everyone will realize very quickly that Chris Connor is the real deal!


Posted by Curious
a resident of Del Prado
on Jan 13, 2016 at 8:54 am

I had the pleasure to meet Mr. Connor this past Monday at drop-off. He was very gracious, poised, and appeared passionate about the new role he was taking on. My kids seemed to take an instant liking to him.

I wish him best of luck in his new role.


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