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Letter: LGUSD Assistant Supe to Retire, Daves Avenue School Principal Being Recruited

Position void will not be filled saving district more than $156,000; district to begin recruiting new principal through outside facilitator.

Dear families, teachers and staff:

On Tuesday evening, the Board of Trustees accepted Dr. Bitsey Stark's letter of retirement as assistant superintendent-curriculum and instruction as of June 30, 2012.

Over the past seven years, Dr. Stark has held several positions in the district in the areas of curriculum, instruction, and assessment. The LGUSD has benefited greatly under the vision, guidance and aspirations of Dr. Stark.

On behalf of the students, families and staff, both past and present, I offer our sincere appreciation for her tireless efforts in contributing to the Los Gatos learning community. We wish her and her family the very best in her retirement.

In addition, trustees appointed Susan von Felten as the principal/director of curriculum and instruction for the district effective July 1, 2012.

Ms. von Felten will assume a 50 percent role as the principal of and 50 percent role as the director of curriculum and instruction.

The district is fortunate to have a professional on staff with Ms. von Felten's expertise in administration and curriculum. Ms. von Felten has more than 30 years experience in the field of education and is a tremendous asset to the organization.

She will have the responsibility to oversee, supervise, and evaluate both school and district programs that include curriculum, instruction, and assessment; intervention programs (e.g. English language development, literacy support, etc.); fine arts programs; and gifted and talented education.

As part of the district reorganization plan to be reviewed with the public at the April 10 board meeting, the administrative team is taking the necessary steps to ensure a smooth transition for the 2012-13 school year.

It is our intent to build on our strong momentum of professional learning communities and continue in our current positive direction.

The focus will be to increase capacity from within the organization through ongoing training utilizing current staff to increase savings during this budget deficit time.

The district will not be replacing the position of assistant superintendent-curriculum and instruction and will realize a cost savings in excess of $156,000 per year.

As such, the district is focusing on the needs and concerns of the students, and how the district can provide additional support to our schools. With the right support structures in place within our K-8 district, all students, teachers and staff can experience measurable degrees of success.

At the same time, the district will begin the process of recruiting a new principal for effective Aug. 1, 2012. The district has retained the services of an outside facilitator, Patricia Einfalt, to assist with the information gathering and interview process.

Ms. Einfalt is scheduled to meet with small groups of teachers, staff, principals, and parents interested in sharing qualities they would like to see in the new candidate on the days listed below from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012 - LGUSD teacher, staff, principal input meetings with Ms. Einfalt (sign-up sheet can be found at the Daves Avenue office)

Thursday, March 29, 2012 - LGUSD parent/community input meetings with Ms. Einfalt (sign-up sheet can be found at the Daves Avenue office)

In addition, we have set up a new email address if you are unable to attend the meetings and wish to forward your suggestions for consideration. Please send your comments no later than Friday, March 30 to: Email: feedback@lgusd.k12.ca.us, subject: principal—Daves

Trustees hope to appoint the new principal of Daves Avenue at the May 15, 2012 Board meeting.

I look forward to seeing you at the April 10 Board meeting, scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. in the multipurpose Room.

The entire LGUSD learning community is passionately committed to upholding the district's mission, vision and strategic initiatives, ensuring student success.

Ellen Simon Pifer March 22, 2012 at 03:58 PM
In my opinion (as a parent with 2 kids at Daves) the school needs a principal with an unwaivering committment to keeping the best teachers and programs in place while shedding those for whom it's time to go. The school IS its teachers and programs. That means finding a way to work within the system to get rid of teachers who've lost their love for teaching and finding creative ways to get the resources needed to fund programs like: art, technology and foreign language. Unfortunately public relations takes up too much of the principal's time. How about the school hires a PR person and let's the Principal focus less on parents and exclusively on teaching and programming? (Susan will be very much missed.)
Bonnie Westman March 22, 2012 at 05:43 PM
Thank you Sheila for publishing Diana Abbati's letters. It's just another good way to keep parents informed about developments at the LGUSD.

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