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New principals named for Jordan, Terman middle schools

Original post made on Jun 2, 2017

A Campbell Union High School District administrator and San Jose Unified School District principal will become the new principals of Jordan and Terman middle schools, respectively, the district announced on Friday.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, June 2, 2017, 12:14 PM

Comments (19)

Posted by wonder if they know
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 2, 2017 at 1:13 pm

Welcome and good luck!

Posted by Watch your step
a resident of Greene Middle School
on Jun 2, 2017 at 3:20 pm

[Portion removed.]

Photo and description of Valerie Royaltey-Quandt : Web Link

"She also served as the district's Title IX coordinator." Checked that box.

"Valerie’s research interests are in the development of queer inclusion and educational leadership training for K-12 schools, as well as in higher education." Checked the staff diversity box.

Ratemyteachers, 2004 Web Link "Ms. Quandt is awesome. She is very informed and knowledgeable. Plus, she is relaxed and funny." "Really enjoys her subject matter and is very helpful to students. Highly recommend." Checked the personality box.

Recommendations from past colleagues/employers? Hopefully that box is checked, but don't know . . .

Posted by m2grs
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 2, 2017 at 4:26 pm

Ms. Quandt is apparently a Santa Cruz native. She probably is living in Santa Cruz. Her work history has been in Santa Cruz/Los Gatos/Campbell area. But commute to Palo Alto will be quite challenging, to say the least.

Posted by can't get any worse
a resident of Greene Middle School
on Jun 2, 2017 at 5:46 pm

Glad they found people to take the roles.
Now let's move forward and get the middle schools straightened out.

Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jun 3, 2017 at 3:05 am

Whoa there! Headline should read:

New principals named for middle schools formerly called Jordan and Terman

Posted by Not the best
a resident of Gunn High School
on Jun 3, 2017 at 7:38 am

PAUSD has not been able to attract top talent for many years because of the steady decline of the environment for administrators. PAEA ensures that each new administrator bows to their will, which is why no principal can focus on teacher improvement, let alone prevent the many discovered misconduct cases. When they try, the union merely gangs up and starts documenting any incident that could be used against them. Denise Herrman left partly because she was the only principal in a decade to have a grievance filed against her. Don't think for a second that she has forgotten that or moved on from it. And all she did was to suggest that teachers use online software. But she did it in her first year, and that was a bit uppity for PAEA. In just the past five months, so many administrators have left, I'd like to think for the right reasons, but the circumstances looks like it's a situation of fleeing the sinking ship at the district office, some leaving to escape scrutiny and possibly legal action, others leaving to to escape the stink of leading a district that has promoted rape culture and inappropriate teacher conduct by permitting it over the years, and then there are the ones who are simply too intelligent to stay so they leave behind incredibly well-paid public education salaries and a high status brand. I don't need to list which administrators are who, if only because they will call the Weekly and implement the portion removed. Now look what we have been getting, and what is coming. Be objective. We had to get a retread superintendent to follow Kevin Skelly. Skelly pulled in over $2 million dollars worth of public money while perpetuating the practice of placating PAEA and hiding rather than solving administrator issues. It was a successful strategy for him but it did not work out well for students. These two new principals are good in many respects, but they are not in the top shelf. Most of you ain't be able to do any real research, but there is a bit out there to indicate what kind of talent we are getting, I'll leave that up to readers. But consider this the new norm. PAUSD is still broken, it's going to take The removal of Glenn McGee. If the board actually renews his contract that will signal business as usual and the Weekly will continue to try and keep up with stories of suicides, rape, and more. That's not hyperbole, that's the last 10 years.

Posted by Teachers leaving too
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 3, 2017 at 7:46 am

The new Jordan principal will get to start by replacing the 15 or 16 teachers that are leaving...

Posted by Put up or
a resident of Juana Briones School
on Jun 3, 2017 at 11:02 am

Which teachers are leaving? It is public information in the board packet, list the 15 teachers that are leaving or refrain from fake news.

Posted by Weekly, your bias is showing
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 3, 2017 at 11:59 am

Weekly: you really need to edit for at least an attempt at objectivity:

"Kinnaman announced in April that she would resign after only a year on the job."

While "truthful", this sentence is clearly slanted to sound as if there is some sort of negative reason lurking here, when the plain and simple fact is that Katie's husband got a great opportunity to advance his own career with a new job in Dallas. Having actually spoken with Katie (did you?), I know for a fact that she was torn about leaving - she was committed to being here and making it her home. She even briefly considered staying for another year to ease the transition. But if I were her, I would be happy to exit this den of sniping, snarkiness, lawsuit-mongering, rumor, and flat out cray-cray, not to mention a local media outlet that clearly has an anti-school agenda.

Your bias is showing. You might want to look into that.

Posted by Resident
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 3, 2017 at 12:06 pm

@bias - for the students, staff, families, and community, it doesn't matter whether the person is leaving because her husband got a job or she changed her mind or anything else. It's not about her. She's leaving after only a year and the school will now have had four principals in four years. That's the news here.

Posted by stop emulating trump
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 3, 2017 at 12:53 pm

@Put Up.
"list the 15 teachers that are leaving or refrain from fake news."

Just because you don't know about it doesn't make it "fake news".


Jeanie Smith, Computer/Technology Guru
Robin Levy, 6th grade Math/Sci + JAWS coordinator

New Adventures:

Erin Belanger, 6th grade ELA/SS
Charles Carlisle, Science
Beth Carlson, Science
Amanda Crooks, AVID + French
Amelia Dominguez, Education Specialist
Catherine Enos, 6th grade ELA/SS - moving to the PAUSD hospital school/Ronald McDonald House
Kellie Fletcher, 6th grade Math/Sci
Alex Gatley, English + Leadership
Michael Mishali, Science
Susan Morosoli, Creative Writing/Broadcast Journalism (JTV)/6th grade wheel
Donna Musick, Education Specialist
Tad Smith, Assistant Principal
Fei Wang, Mandarin

Posted by Clean Sweep
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 4, 2017 at 7:21 am

I think a lot of the admin turnover is a good thing, and finally some of the bad apples are leaving. I am still trying to give McGee a chance because I know just how rotten some of those apples were and it really wasn't fair to McGee or even to Skelly - some kinds of people are just toxic to any organization. I'm not sure I buy that the PAEA is entirely the problem although that grievance still comes across as abusive of their power, too. However, I recall many teachers complaining about being lied to by the district admin over the years, in just the way families have, and not defended by the union even when colleagues did defend them. I recall teachers with serious workplace complaints or observations, similar to some of the concerns surfacing for families/students, who felt they couldn't speak up.

We do need to bring in upper management with a much stronger ethical compass. McGee is so political - he is doing things that keep bad apples circulating outside of our district, which is too bad, then other districts have no idea what hit them. Young, and a few others, IMO, should have gotten out of education. If we'd had stronger leadership with greater moral fiber, who were willing to listen to and seriously examine the serious complaints about those administrators instead of just helping them exit gracefully, a better district culture could have been established while also ensuring that some people who really shouldn't be having anything to do with children's education and safety/ public service get the kind of actual performance review that would get them on to something else.

Miss Denise Herrmann already.

Posted by The 411
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 4, 2017 at 9:54 pm

I can tell you with certainty that I know things you don't know, so you must be ignorant. I will not admit the possibility that you could know things that I don't know and that therefore my information might be of limited value. I have been feeling so angry about something that happened, and I didn't want it to happen, and I didn't get the resolution I most certainly deserved, and so I'm going to take anonymous swipes at people online. And I've lived in Palo Alto a long time, so it's your privilege to hear from me. My kids even took AP classes and went to top colleges. This district just needs to clean house because we just keep hiring bad people. Never mind that the one constant through every bad administrator and every bad school board decision has been the community, but too bad. I mean, how could *we* be the problem? Well I'm going to do my part to improve the community and make the schools and the district more attractive to all that top talent though, by spreading the truth that will help push the bad ones out. The good ones know who they are and they aren't affected by this. I know some of the good ones and they'll tell you. It's the bad ones. Get them out. And everyone I know agrees with me about who are the good ones and who are the bad ones. And we're good too. We're the best.

Posted by Clean Sweep
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 5, 2017 at 9:12 am

Now that you've twisted yourself into that sweeping pretzel to deflect blame from specific people and practices and to sweepingly condemn "the community" (that's interesting that you think "the community" doesn't ever change - do you mean the school community that changes every few years, or the city community with its changing demographics, or the teaching community? Or do you mean the community of families having problems such as parents of sexually assualted children or special ed families, many of whom have left PAUSD during this time? you do realize that the presence of "the community" is why a school district exists at all?), let's deal with the actual situation.

The problem here is district administrative/ leadership and culture that has repeatedly not been open and honest and has failed - in demonstrably deliberate, not accidental, ways - to follow the law to protect our children. That has been the constant here. That can be fixed, but it's difficult, particularly with leadership that shows no interest. The problem is the fault of district administration and those who follow their policies and culture, over which "the community" has very little direct control. (That the community objects to this SHOULD be consistent, is that what you think hasn't changed?) It is possible to change a dishonest, dysfunctional culture, but it's hard and doesn't usually happen just because one person leaves (even if the one person was the original bad apple.) The community can have more direct input, as has happened in other cities where the school district answers to the mayor's office, for example, but as yet, the broader parent and voting community has not chosen to act on creating more checks on school administration. So currently, their only recourse is to speak up, and I take issue with your bullying and sweeping attempt to cast aspersions on people speaking up against problems hurting our schools and kids.

The special ed department in PAUSD used to be regarded as one of the best. So, that has definitely changed during this time that you claim "the community" has not. I've been in regional meetings in which outsiders shook their heads about what has happened to PAUSD special ed; the change coincided with personnel changes and associated district culture changes, which also coincided with specific personnel turnover (and subsequent employees continuing and deepening the problems), some of whom are leaving only now. Skelly was particularly bad about making/deepening a bad culture in the district office - both teachers and families were on the receiving end of treatment described over and over by many as "lies" "cover up" "dishonest" etc. He didn't run the office himself, he had employees who were still here, along with a pretty dysfunctional culture, when he left. Looking at his history in Pomona, what happened should not have been a surprise, but he didn't take the rest with him when he left. In an ideal world, we would have had a clean sweep when bringing in McGee, but the then board wasn't any better about honesty or transparency or the will to do whatever it takes to serve. McGee has been in some ways worse about transparency, and seems to feel that if problems just stay swept under the rug, they eventually go away. Some of those employees who have repeatedly been the source of the problems are only leaving now, but McGee seems to think that will solve things rather than addressing the underlying cultural problems they furthered. Without leadership committed to honesty, solving problems he inherited rather than sweeping them under the rug, restoring an honest earnest problem-solving culture dedicated to seving ALL in this public district, it remains to be seen whether these changes will improve things. (Likely not.)

If you open your eyes and talk to families whose children have suffered, and deal with what is actually happening, then you wouldn't have to make sweeping [portion removed] statements about "the community" [portion removed.]

Posted by Cindy Costell
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jun 5, 2017 at 12:23 pm

In 1964, my first year of teaching at Terman, the big issue at our monthly staff meetings was -- gasp -- what to do about students chewing gum during class ! How our needs and values have changed. I'm still subbing in the PAUSD and can assure you that 53 years later, a class can occasionally drive one to despair. However, teachers I've observed work long, hard, unselfish hours for what they earn. Those who sit criticizing the teachers on this site may consider themselves experts in something or other - English, maybe, or Social Studies; Math or Sciences. I suggest that you apply for classroom positions in PAUSD classes and solve the problems about which you complain.

Posted by Teachers leaving too
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 5, 2017 at 12:58 pm

@Cindy - In our experience with PAUSD, the vast majority of teachers are caring, hard working and dedicated. Unfortunately, there are the few who give the rest a bad name. That said, I can not imagine teaching a classroom full of students!

Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Barron Park

on Jun 5, 2017 at 2:13 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?

Posted by Clean Sweep
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 5, 2017 at 6:51 pm

The district administration is not the same as the teaching staff. Although teachers can handle these things badly, usually that is the result of poor direction and policies or even misrepresentations from the district office. What is a teacher supposed to do if someone in the district office tells them something untrue out of retaliation, or lies to families who then don't know whom to trust, or interferes with nirmal classroom relationships, making it harder to work together at the school level?

The district has written its own procedures for following these laws, how they want to do things, and gotten them approved, so there is no excuse for then ignoring their own procedues. They have already decided what folowing the law looks like but they ignore that. It's really not that difficult. Opening an investigation when a student reports an assault, or a parent complains of being subject to illegal retaliation is just not that hard. Scheming to cover it up is what's hard. Dealing with the blowback when the thing they thought they swept under the rug comes back worse is hard. Following records laws for student welfare instead of stressing over whether this or that person's backside is exposed is also not hard - for someone with a sense of ethics.

You are missing the point here, which is that people are nostly not criticizing the teaching staff. I see a community that is by and large hugely supportive of schools, and parents who are sacrificially supportive of teachers and classrooms. Not so much about CYA, failing to follow the laws, and backbiting from administrators.

Posted by Name hidden
a resident of East Palo Alto

on Sep 26, 2017 at 2:58 am

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?

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