Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Community college board announces Dr. Bryan Reece to become next chancellor

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2020

Chancellor Emeritus of California Community Colleges; former community college president; founder of organization using community colleges to address racism and discrimination in America

By Timothy Leong, Public Information Officer, CCCCD

Dr Bryan Reece. Photo: Norco College.

The Contra Costa Community College District (CCCCD) Governing Board held a special public meeting on Tuesday, September 22, 2020, and today is announcing their decision to begin contract negotiations with Dr. Bryan Reece to become the next Chancellor. The goal will be to place the contract for public review and approval at their regular meeting scheduled for Wednesday, October 14, 2020.

The announcement was made following a nationwide search that began in January 2020.  The selection process was paused in both March and April due to the transition to remote operations as a result of the pandemic and was restarted in September. Public forums were held last week for the finalist and a final interview was completed by the Governing Board.

Barrett praised the dedication and work conducted by the Search Committee and Collaborative Brain Trust Senior Consultant Dr. Brice Harris, a longtime California community college educator and Chancellor Emeritus of the California Community Colleges. In addition, the Governing Board acknowledged the hundreds of faculty, classified professionals, managers and community leaders who participated in the public forums and submitted comments to the trustees for consideration prior to their final decision.

About Dr. Bryan Reece

Dr. Reece with a Norco College graduate. Photo from his website.

Until last year, Reece was president of Norco College in Riverside County, California where he oversaw “approximately 450 employees, 15,000 students and a service area with over 300,000 residents. Expanded student enrollment by 9.6% and student completion of academic goals by 18.3% with transfers to the University of California (UC) system improving by 50%. Narrowed the equity gap with completion for students of color improving by 26%. Increased fundraising by 117%,” according to his website.

Also on his website, Reece shares about himself.

“I have been working in higher education for 30 years, with 15 years of senior management experience including a decade of community college administration (College President, VP of Academic Affairs, and Dean) and five years of private sector management. I hold a BA, MA and Ph.D. from the University of Southern California (USC). I taught Political Science as a tenured community college faculty member for 19 years and have a documented record of moving community colleges in directions that improve the academic success for students across all groups and have particular expertise with student populations from historically under-served communities. I have worked extensively with legislative bodies and government agencies at the local, state and federal levels and have a record of success with public-private partnerships and fundraising.”

According to his LinkedIn account, Reece attended USC from 1984 through 1990 for his undergrad and master’s degrees, and returned to the school from 2001-2005 for his doctorate.

Dr. Reece at a Norco College soccer pep rally. Photo from his website.

Last year, he founded the National Policy Agenda for Community Colleges (NPACC) to use community colleges to address racism and discrimination in the U.S. According to his website, “The primary goal of NPACC is to address social justice and equity at the national level through the work of American community colleges. NPACC is supported by a grassroots group of over 50 volunteers, including trustees, college presidents, administrators, faculty, staff, CC alumni, community members, and elected officials. We believe racism and discrimination in America must be addressed through a national strategy that recognizes and supports the leadership role community colleges play in working with students from historically underserved communities.”

According to his Twitter feed, Reece is writing a book about community colleges. In a July 23rd tweet, he introduced a series of essays based on his book, entitled “Community Colleges: A Good Kind of Subversion – An Ongoing Essay Series on Educational Inequities and How to Solve Them.”

According to the About page on his website, Reece was a cow milker at a dairy throughout high school and college in the 1980’s, providing him with both the necessary experience for fundraising and a firm grip when shaking hands.

Allen Payton contributed to this report.

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Contra Costa Community College District Chancellor search narrowed to one finalist

Thursday, September 17th, 2020

Former LMC President Dr. Raúl Rodríguez withdraws from consideration; public forums via Zoom begin today

By Timothy Leong, Public Information Officer, Contra Costa Community College District

MARTINEZ, California – The Contra Costa Community College District (District) Governing Board has decided to move forward with only one finalist, Dr. Bryan Reece, for the next permanent Chancellor opportunity. The other finalist, Dr. Raúl Rodríguez, withdrew from the process after accepting an offer to extend his contract as Hartnell College’s interim President/Superintendent last night. The Governing Board agreed to complete the search process out of respect for all the hard work done over the past several months by the selection committee and community.

Public forums for Dr. Reece will be conducted via Zoom and recorded at each college and the District Office on Thursday, September 17, 2020, beginning at 12:30 p.m. The public forums will last approximately 45 minutes each, and are open to the community, students, faculty and staff. A detailed public forum schedule, links to the public forums, and information on how to submit a question to be asked will be available on the District website at www.4cd.edu.

For those who are unable to join the September 17 public forums, links to all 4 recorded Zoom sessions will be made available on the District website. A comment box has also been created to submit your input that will be shared with the Governing Board for their consideration.

Following the public forums, the Governing Board will conduct a final interview with Dr. Reece in closed session on Tuesday, September 22, 2020, and is expected to announce a decision soon thereafter. If the Governing Board decides to offer the permanent chancellor opportunity to Dr. Reece, contract negotiations will begin. At their regularly scheduled public meeting on Wednesday, October 14, 2020, the Governing Board will vote on the final contract and employ the District’s next permanent chancellor.

The Contra Costa Community College District (CCCCD) is one of the largest multi-college community college districts in California. The CCCCD serves a population of 1,019,640 people, and its boundaries encompass all but 48 of the 734-square-mile land area of Contra Costa County. The District is home to Contra Costa College in San Pablo, Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, Los Medanos College in Pittsburg, as well as educational centers in Brentwood and San Ramon. The District headquarters is located in downtown Martinez.

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Third challenger with education background runs for Antioch School Board in Area 1

Tuesday, September 15th, 2020

Alexis Medina. Photo from her campaign Facebook page.

By Allen Payton

There’s a fourth candidate running for the Antioch School Board in Area 1 and the third to challenge incumbent Diane Gibson-Gray in this year’s elections. On her campaign Facebook page, Alexis Medina writes she’s an “Experienced Program Coordinator, Classroom Educator, and Instructional Coach. Proud parent of an AUSD student.”

According to her website, Medina “has over 15 years’ experience in K-12, as an afterschool program coordinator, classroom teacher, and instructional coach. Research based culturally responsive decision making and relationship building with students, parents, and school staff have been daily practices for her in these roles. She is also the proud parent of an AUSD student. She enjoys visiting local historical sites, museums, and libraries.”

According to her LinkedIn profile, Medina worked as an Instructional Coach, Secondary Social Science and ELA/ELD for the Pittsburg Unified School District from August 2016 through August 2019. Prior to that she worked as a teacher for Making Waves Academy in Richmond,  a 5th-12th grade public charter school focused on historically underserved and socio-economically disadvantaged students. In previous positions Medina worked as a Program Coordinator for the Redwood City-based Bring Me A Book Foundation and as a Community Organizer and Health Educator for the Peace Corps.

In that role, Medina writes she, “Led (an) eight-week professional development series alongside the Regional Teacher Leadership Team for 230 primary school teachers on developing lessons addressing varied instructional needs. Designed and led pre-service training 35 Peace Corps trainees in pedagogy i.e. classroom management, basic lesson planning, adult education, multiple intelligences, experiential learning, and the Swaziland school system. Designed and conducted workshops for over 70 pre-school community caregivers and primary school teachers on basic pedagogy and sustainable teaching resources. Secured and managed logistic and grant funding for community events.”

In three previous positions she worked as a high school teacher in in a variety of subjects including world history, psychology, and sociology, a middle school reading tutor, and an after-school care leader for K-3 students.

Also, on her campaign website, Medina shares the reason she’s running writing, “ I remember our excitement earlier this year as we visited the dual immersion program at John Muir Elementary School. The classroom decorated with brightly colored flags from Latin America and student art for Black History Month signaling that this was a place where my child’s cultural identity would be affirmed. The teachers were enthusiastic, but also very clear that the program was limited, repeatedly advising that we get registered early.

A week later, I rushed to my school of record, receiving the vital time stamp on my paperwork. I had undertaken the research and action required to ensure that my child had access to culturally relevant and responsive pedagogy in a safe and culturally affirming environment, yet was left powerless to the odds, hoping there would be room for us in the program.

Programs like dual immersion should not come down to a foot race for a time stamp but instead should be thoughtfully planned for and strengthened. I am running because AUSD students, parents, and staff deserve a transparent asset-based community development approach to planning and governance. I will work with the community to strengthen culturally responsive practices, community partnerships and civic learning opportunities.”

To learn more about Medina’s campaign, contact her at medinaforantioch@gmail.com.

 

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Join Antioch School Board Area 1 candidate George Young for breakfast Saturdays in September

Friday, September 11th, 2020

PAID POLITICAL ADVERTISEMENT

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On split vote Antioch School Board censures Trustee Householder for social media comments

Wednesday, September 9th, 2020

Screenshots of Householder’s since deleted comments on her Twitter feed regarding Rocha posted on Aug. 14, 2020.

Householder claims her colleagues are punishing her over ideological differences

By Allen Payton

Drama and controversy continued for the Antioch School Board Wednesday night, as the board majority, on a 3-2 split, voted to censure one of their own. Trustee Mary Rocha requested the item be placed on  the agenda for Trustee Ellie Householder’s comments on Twitter praising those who participated in a protest and for pressuring Rocha regarding  her plan to ask the board to remove Householder from the City-School Subcommittee for her comments. (See related article)

Householder’s Twitter comments on Aug. 14 have since been deleted. The three comments read, “I want Antioch student demonstrators to know they had and continue to have a VISIBLE AFFECT (sic) on school board members. At last night Board meeting Trustee Rocha decided to table an item she submitted for discussion regarding the city-school subcommittee…which I just so happen to sit on (presumably she did this to try to boot me off following BLM demonstration at Joy Motts house). For the last week I’ve heard students chant ‘we will vote you out’ and ‘f*** Mary, Gary, and Diane.’ & folx lemme tell you…Rocha said plainly / sheepishly ‘I think we should wait after the election…I just don’t think this is good to talk about now…’ She is SHOOK YA’LL!! Just a happy reminder your voice has impact and to never stop fighting! #BLM #StandUpFightBack.”

However, the attempt to remove Householder from the subcommittee was debated at the next school board meeting on Aug. 26, and the vote to remove her failed on a 1-4 vote, with just Rocha voting yes. During that meeting Householder apologized for her Twitter comments, but said the other board members were misinterpreting them, which could perhaps be due to them not understanding how Twitter works.

Censure Resolution Resolution 20-21-07 Censure of Trustee E Householder

The resolution up for discussion was read by Board President Diane Gibson-Gray, which includes part of what Householder wrote:

“Trustee Householder, on her Twitter page, which identifies her as an Antioch Unified School District Board Member, tweeted support for the conduct of demonstrators whose stated goal (and actions thereafter) were designed to deliberately prevent the Antioch Unified School District Board from conducting its lawful business at a public meeting (which is a violation of Penal Code section 403). Householder went on to tweet that ‘For the last week I’ve heard students chant “we will vote you out” and “f*** Mary, Gary, and Diane” and further stated ‘She is SHOOK YA’LL!! Just a happy reminder your voice has impact to never stop fighting!’ To publicly voice approval and support of speech that denigrates her fellow Trustees violates the Board Policies cited above and exceed the bounds of common decency and professionalism that should be a part of all board members’ speech and conduct.”

The resolution refers to the district’s Board Bylaw 9005 which reads, “Board members are expected to govern responsibly and hold themselves to the highest standards of ethical conduct;” and “Each individual Board member shall… Act with dignity, and understand the implications of demeanor and behavior;” as well as “Board members also shall assume collective responsibility for building unity and creating a positive organizational culture” and “Govern in a dignified and professional manner, treating everyone with civility and respect.”

The resolution also refers to Bylaw 9010, “Public Statements” states that “… the Board encourages members who participate on social networking sites, blogs, or other discussion or informational sites to conduct themselves in a respectful, courteous, and professional manner and to model good behavior for district students and the community;” and 9012, “Board Member Electronic Communications” states that “Board members shall make every effort to ensure that their electronic communications conform to the same standards and protocols established for other forms of communication.”

The final clause giving the reason for censuring Householder reads, “the Governing Board determines that Trustee Householder’s conduct is unacceptable, unprofessional, and a violation of the Board Bylaws cited above.”

Public Comments

Householder spoke first saying, “I would just request that Ms. Cavallaro read the comments so it would be someone more neutral.”

Gibson-Gray said “we’ve already made arrangements to have Superintendent Stephanie Anello read the comments. She is neutral.”

“She’s the secretary, Madam Chair. That’s a conflict of interest,” said Trustee Crystal Sawyer-White.

“I don’t believe so. I used to read them,” Gibson-Gray said. “But I have asthma.”

Rocha then said, “I’d like to put that in motion.”

“No, let’s hear from the public, please if you don’t mind,” Gibson-Gray said. “OK,” responded Rocha.

“Just for clarification the reason I wanted someone more neutral is just given some of the comments on social media from those close to the superintendent,” Householder said. “Given that this is really sensitive that’s why I wanted to request someone more neutral read the comments. Even you.”

“I don’t have the public comments…they are in Superintendent’s hands, now,” Gibson-Gray responded.

Anello said that one of the district’s attorneys was on the line in case any of the trustees had any questions. She then read about 100 public comments on both sides of the issue, some supporting Householder, others criticizing her and supporting her censure, including form letters submitted by those on both sides.

Council Discussion and Vote

Following the public comments, Rocha immediately made the motion to approve the resolution.

“Madam Chair, we need a discussion,” Sawyer-White said, interrupting and talking over Rocha.

“You can discuss it after it’s put on the table,” Rocha shot back.

“I seconded it for discussion,” Gibson-Gray said.

“As a board trustee…I find a censure is a distraction for the board,” Sawyer-White said. “Trustee Householder’s tweet was taken out of context and were comments of students. Students are frustrated…with not having a voice. I am not in favor of having this censorship. I am disheartened by the comments…when new trustees aren’t mentored. Nobody has reached out to mentor us.”

“I think the resolution in the beginning before these 80 some comments were shared…I have no disagreement with it and have no problem with it,” Hack said.

Sawyer-White then said, “It’s infringing on her First Amendment right.”

Householder Responds

“I am truly disappointed in my colleagues for putting forward this resolution,” Householder said, reading prepared remarks. “Because we had an ideological disagreement about racial injustices in our district and how to address them, you have retaliated against me by claiming a technical violation. I would have welcomed a discussion about a way we could mediate this issue as a Board, such as workshops or trainings. Instead, my colleagues decided to take punitive action against me. And for that, I really am disappointed.

I’d like to make this crystal clear, the issue here is that I am bringing up racial injustices. That is what they don’t like. And that is what this resolution is about.

The reality is what is happening here is a part of a national awakening to issues of race and racism in our public institutions. For example, it is no secret that AUSD suspends Black boys at a rate seven times higher than their white counterparts. It’s no secret that our higher-level management lacks the same diversity that our larger population has. And it’s no secret that across the board our students of color perform worse academically.

The students of this district understand these facts. And they understand how our district perpetuates inequalities. That is why I will continue to stand in support of their efforts to change our community for the better.

While my colleagues are focused on silencing me, I am going to continue focusing on uplifting voices. I am going to continue talking about issues of race and inequity in our district, and I am going to continue fighting for the rights of our students to advocate for themselves and against injustices. Because we need to talk about these things if we are going to do the jobs the community trusted in us, and that is to educate our students.

Again, I really am disappointed that this is what we have come to. Ideological differences shouldn’t be met with punitive action.

Thank you.”

Gibson-Gray made no comments and the motion passed on a 3-2 with Sawyer-White and Householder voting against.

“Ellie you have blocked me on your Twitter feed. That is your own personal choice, but I would appreciate you unblocking me,” Gibson-Gray added.

The resolution adopted by the board concludes, “the Governing Board of the Antioch Unified School District hereby finds that the foregoing recitals are true and correct…that based on these recitals, the Governing Board of the Antioch Unified School District hereby formally censures Trustee Ellie Householder and proclaims publicly that this Board disapproves of the aforementioned conduct and finds it to be a violation of the Board Bylaws and unacceptable behavior that shall not be tolerated. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED AND ORDERED that Trustee Householder shall treat fellow Board members and District staff with dignity and respect at all times and in all forums.”

This is the second time in three years that the board has censured one of its members for something they’ve written, said or done. The last time was in 2017 when the board majority voted to censure Debra Vinson for allegations of bullying and intimidating staff members.

Other Social Media Posts by Householder About the Censure Vote

About the proposed censure vote, on her Twitter feed on Aug. 27 Householder wrote, “They want to silence me for calling out racial inequities. Yet there is a clear pattern of behavior where Black and brown folks are held to a different standard. They can censure me all they want I am not going to stop pointing out these injustices.”

Then on Sept. 4 Householder wrote, “Rocha requested an item for DISCUSSION regarding my tweets in support of student demonstrators (8/26). Now there is an ACTION item Resolution re: Censure of me for upcoming 9/9 BOE mtg. They’re trying to silence me for supporting the youth in their fight against racial injustice.”

Then on Sept. 5, Householder posted, “Rather than have a real conversation about race they’ve engaged in a pattern of tactics meant to silence me—meant to silence a movement & generation of folks who are saying enough is enough. Use the link in my bio to submit a comment letting them know theyre wrong side of history twitter.com/householder925…”

Finally, on Tuesday, Sept. 8 she wrote, “Please help me drown out the hatred by putting in a public comment. It’s agenda item 10B.”

In a post on her School Board Facebook page on Sept. 5, Householder wrote, “My colleagues disagree with my support of student and youth activist in their fight against racial injustices. Rather than have a real conversation about race, they’ve decided to engage in a pattern of tactics meant to silence me – meant to silence a movement and generation of folks who are saying enough is enough. Fill out this public comment card ahead of this Wednesday’s Board meeting to let them know how they’re on the wrong side of history.”

Householder’s post on her School Board Facebook page on Sept. 6, 2020.

Householder Censors Comments on School Board Facebook Page

As mentioned during public comments, Householder also posted on her School Board Facebook page on Sept. 6, “I welcome discussion on my page and posts. I will not, however, allow this forum to be used for personal threats, nasty language, or spamming. ‘An official speaking as a government actor cannot limit interactions based on viewpoint, but they can limit other kinds of interactions. Depending on the circumstances, a person can be blocked for posting personal threats or profane language, including in accordance with the social media platform’s terms of service. An official can also preclude all comments or in certain circumstances limit discussions to certain subjects – in other words, government officials may have no obligation to open the social media account up for public comment, but if they do, they cannot discriminate as to which views get to be expressed in those comments.’”

A censure is a non-binding action, carries no legal consequences and is merely a strong condemnation of an official’s actions or comments.

To watch the entire school board meeting click here and to hear all the public comments on this item, scroll to the 2:16:45 point.

 

 

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Travis Credit Union hosting virtual Back-to-School Rally Sept. 16

Friday, September 4th, 2020

Online event to celebrate the start of 2020-2021 School Year for local youth

Travis Credit Union invites students and their families to attend a free virtual ‘Back-to-School Rally,’ scheduled for Wednesday, September 16 from 4-5 p.m. The Zoom event is also the culmination of TCU’s month-long ‘Back to School Challenge,’ where students who complete the weekly online financial education activities are entered into a drawing to win the grand prize, a new laptop.

“Starting a new school year is an exciting time. Since this year is unlike any other, we are proud to introduce a digital financial education program to compliment distance learning to help families and guardians,” said Damian Alarcon, Director of Community Relations for Travis Credit Union. “The Back-to-School rally is our way of helping to bring youth together to celebrate financial education and all the new opportunities that this school year will bring.”

The rally will feature guest speakers from across the 12 counties served by TCU, including:

  • Edgar Lampkin, Superintendent of the Williams Unified School District, will provide a welcome to students.
  • Youth leaders from the Woodland Teen Advisory Board, the San Pablo Youth Commission, RYSE Center (in Richmond) and the Fairfield Police Activities League will share teen projects they are launching to support the return to schools.
  • The grand prize winner of the Back-to-School Challenge will be announced live

Woodland Teen Advisory Board, https://woodlandpubliclibrary.com

City of San Pablo Youth Commission, https://www.sanpabloca.gov/881/Youth-Commission

Fairfield Police Activities League, https://www.fairfield.ca.gov/gov/depts/police/pal_matt_garcia_youth_center/

RYSE Center, https://rysecenter.org

Williams Unified School District, http://www.williamsusd.net

To register for this free event, click here.

Youth aged 13 to 18 have until September 9 to complete the contest requirements to be eligible for the giveaway. More information is available at traviscu.org/back-to-school.

Headquartered in Vacaville, California, Travis Credit Union is a not-for-profit cooperative financial institution serving those who live, work, worship, or attend school in Alameda, Colusa, Contra Costa, Merced, Napa, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, and Yolo Counties. Currently, Travis Credit Union is the 13th largest credit union in California with more than 214,000 members and more than $3.9 billion in assets. As one of the leading financial institutions in Solano, Contra Costa, Napa, Yolo and Merced Counties, Travis Credit Union’s strength lies in its faithful commitment to its members and the community; its solid, secure history; and its long-standing track record of dedicated service.

 

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Antioch School Board gets heated over Householder Twitter comments about Rocha

Thursday, August 27th, 2020

Fails to remove Householder from School-City Standing Committee on 1-4 vote after she offers multiple apologies

By Allen Payton

Following another heated exchange amongst Antioch School Board members during their meeting Wednesday night, over Twitter comments by Trustee Ellie Householder about Trustee Mary Rocha, the board chose not to remove Householder from the School-City Standing Committee on a 1-4 vote. Only Rocha, who made the motion, voted in favor, after Householder offered multiple apologies during the meeting.

The comments posted on Twitter, which have since been deleted, referred to Rocha’s decision at the last board meeting to withdraw her agenda item about removing Householder from the committee, and how the recent demonstrations by the students were having an effect, using the phrase “she is SHOOK YA’LL”.

“Madame Chair, I am interested in putting a motion in place would that be proper?” Rocha asked.

“Yes, you can make a motion whenever you want,” Board President Diane Gibson-Gray stated.

At this time I will make my statement, then,” Rocha said. At the last meeting I had put the school and city subcommittee on the agenda for discussion. But I decided to move the item until after the November election. I felt we needed to be respectful of the timing and consideration of the trustees in the election, which includes both of our representatives to this committee.”

“I was appalled at the tweets that Trustee Householder wrote encouraging more harassment against me and she was encouraging more people to bully me to influence my vote similar to what she did to Councilwoman Joy Motts.”

“Madame Chair, point of order, point of order, point of order,” Trustee Crystal Sawyer-White said interrupting Rocha, who continued to read her statement. “Excuse me, Madam Chair. Madam Chair, this has never happened, before,”

“Excuse me. Excuse me. Trustee Sawyer-White, she has the floor,” Gibson-Gray responded.

“At this time, I’m putting a motion to remove Trustee Householder from the School-City Subcommittee,” Rocha added.

“OK. That’s a motion. Before we go, Trustee Sawyer-White was saying point of order,” Gibson-Gray said. “What is the point of order?”

“That’s totally disrespectful. That’s disrespectful. She could have motioned without the comments,” Sawyer-White said. “That’s totally disrespectful. As the president you can motion a point of order.”

“That’s not a point of order,” Gibson-Gray explained. “She’s allowed whatever she likes. So, she has made a motion to remove Trustee Householder. Is there a second so we can have conversation?  I will second it for conversation. Does anyone want to say something.”

“I’ll say something. So, I apologize if what I said on Twitter was hurtful,” Householder then said. “But I just want to be clear, because I’m sure that Trustee Rocha didn’t actually read the tweet herself. But I was not in any way calling for any violence to be perpetrated against any one of my fellow trustees or anyone in the community, for that matter. My tweet was rather to encourage the students to continue demonstrating and exercising their First Amendment right. You know, I understand, I mean I’ve heard since then that there have been other altercations during or after that meeting regarding SRO’s. I was in no way condoning any particular tactic. But I was in fact saying student’s rights to exercise their First Amendment was right and it had an affect.”

“And so I understand how if you don’t understand Twitter that could be definitely taken out of context. But as somebody who uses Twitter a lot, ask anybody who’s on my Twitter feed, that was definitely not the intention,” she continued. “But, regardless of my intent was, I do deeply apologize, because I can understand as a fellow trustee how alarming it must be to hear that there’s another trustee calling for violence or bullying. But I can assure you that definitely that was not my intention, at all. But I do apologize because I can understand how upsetting that is.”

“And with that I mean do understand why that type of emotional, visceral response would lead to ‘well, she doesn’t belong on the city subcommittee,’” said Householder. “But I kind of view those, I don’t kind of, those are two very separate things. And I think that if we, you know, want to have a discussion offline, I’d be more than happy to talk with my fellow trustee about that and to have a heart to heart about that and to just clear the air. But I think to move to say ‘oh, well, she doesn’t belong on the city subcommittee’ is a little odd to me.”

“But, you know, whatever, as President Gibson-Gray pointed out people can make a motion about whatever they want to make a motion on. That’s kind of how this kind of thing works, right? But, you know, I do apologize if those comments were hurtful. Our school-city subcommittee hasn’t met for a long time and we only met twice. So, it’s necessarily moving and sharking things.”

“Three out of the four elected officials are up for election. I anticipate that this committee is going to change, and I’ll be really shocked if we met before the election,” Householder concluded. “I obviously respect whatever motion people want to put on the table.”

“I actually asked Trustee Rocha to pull it back,” Gibson-Gray said. “It was as a result of the visit to Councilmember Motts’ house. I didn’t want another open letter to a board member from you to be put out if this happened. Unfortunately, you know, there are things that are disagreed on, you know and the way it’s worked out in public is not good.”

“I am a Twitter user. I did not show her that. I follow you on Twitter. I saw it. I believe that ‘all shook up’ is  you know, frightening,” she continued. “I don’t care how you couch it, I don’t think that was appropriate language. Do I think it’s enough to pull you off the committee? No. So, I’m going to vote no.”

“But, you know, this is a conversation that needed to be had in public,” Gibson-Gray stated. Because there was no conversation outside of your Twitter feed and I think it was very disrespectful in my opinion.”

“I just want to offer the same thing that’s been told to me time and time, again. You all have my phone number. If there is any confusion about anything please feel free to call, text me, whatever,” Householder responded. “I am the youngest person on this board, and the way that local leaders, or leaders in general engage with their constituents is a little bit different. And so, I understand that there is just that kind of like knowledge gap about the use of Twitter and I also think it’s not inappropriate to go to the public, as a public figure, to express opinions. But you know you guys have my number. So, call me in the future if there’s anything confusing to you.”

“The ageism comment is offensive to me,” Gibson-Gray responded. “I’ve been on social media long before you have. So, to say that because of our age we don’t understand that is challenging for me.”

“The thing I wanted to say is, I did this, at the last meeting I was doing it, as I said, so that we didn’t have any problems with the issues of the elections, etc. And so, I took it off for that reason,” Rocha explained. “But I resent it how it came back as if I was a weak person. I have over 30 years of working in the community, 30 years in public life and I’ve never backed off on anything. And believe you I sleep well. I don’t have issues with what my decisions are. Thank you.”

Then, before Superintendent Stephanie Anello read the public comments, she said, “There are so many comments that I just heard that were offensive, but it’s not my place to say that.”

The two public comments chastised Householder for her Twitter comments, and included them verbatim.

“I know I said I’d vote no, but I’m waffling,” Gibson-Gray then said. “But to hear them read out loud is a little bit different. What I just heard was a little disturbing. I do appreciate the fact that Trustee Householder did apologize and that will have some weight on my vote.”

“I was a little confused by what you’re saying, “Householder then said, “I think there were a few type-os.”

“Maybe I was a bit pre-emptive in saying how I’d vote,” Gibson-Gray said. “These were more than just ‘shook’. Your message was not appropriate for a board member.”

“I’m going to take back my vote no and I’m going to vote yes,” Gibson-Gray then said. “I’m changing my mind as I’m listening.”

“Again, this is our democracy at work,” Householder said. “And so, like I’m not offended at any of this. What I think for me since we’re talking about what I meant. That was actually in response to what a lot of intense things students were saying, they are having an effect on what the board is doing. I do standby my message, my larger message that it’s very clear demonstrations do have an affect on our politics. I do not take away the fact that I did upset my fellow trustee. In all of these comments it’s never my intent to be hurtful.”

“I do appreciate your apology,” Gibson-Gray said. “Regardless, I am a board member 24-hours a day. So, I’m very careful what I say. Board members are held to a higher standard. Perhaps we can learn something from this.”

She then called for the vote.

“Mary you made the motion to remove Trustee Householder from the subcommittee,” Gibson-Gray said.

Sawyer-White then wanted to make a comment. “I just wanted to say Ellie has a great heart. I know we conduct ourselves in a different manner and Twitter is a different ballgame. And Ellie is qualified to be on this committee and on this board.”

The motion failed on a 1-4 vote with Trustee Gary Hack saying, “with trepidation, no” and only Rocha voting in favor of it.

“I understand, in my mind, Trustee Rocha’s justified offense. I’m hoping we learn and move forward,” Gibson-Gray said. “The motion fails 4-1. So, am I done with that one, everyone? Sounds like a yes.”

“We’ll move on to 11, which I tried to start earlier,” she continued. “Resolutions for immediate action.”

“Madame Chair, what was the vote, the voting outcome?” asked Sawyer-White. “I’m sorry.”

“The vote failed 4-1,” Gibson-Gray responded.

“I said ‘no’,” Sawyer-White stated.

“Yes, that’s correct. So, it failed. Trustee Householder is still on the standing committee,” Gibson-Gray responded.

“OK. Thank you,” Sawyer-White responded.

“Yes. Can I move onto 11, now?” asked Gibson-Gray.

“I’m sorry. I was confused on the vote,” Sawyer-White said.

“I know. It was an unusual one. It was an unusual one,” Gibson-Gray then said.

“Mine was yes. It was yes. I’m not in favor,” Sawyer-White said.

“I know. It was an unusual vote. We’re all good, now, right?” Gibson-Gray asked.

“Well, I’m in favor. I’m the only one that voted ‘no’”? Sawyer-White asked.

“No. The vote was 4-1 that the vote failed. Trustee Householder is still on the standing committee by a vote of 4-1,” Gibson-Gray reiterated.

“And I’m the one,” Sawyer-White then said.

“No. No. No. You are the four. You’re part of the four,” Gibson-Gray explained, again.

“OK. Thank you,” Sawyer-White responded.

“Superintendent Anello, am I misstating that? I just want to make sure,” Gibson-Gray asked.

“No, you’re correct,” Anello responded.

“And Trustee Sawyer-White, you’re good now, right?” Gibson-Gray asked.

“Yes. Thank you for clarifying,” Sawyer-White responded.

“The vote was 1-4, not 4-1. I mean it’s either or,” Anello added.

“Yeah, four meant she stays on the committee,” Gibson-Gray stated. “That’s the way it works. It’s like when you vote in the ballot. It’s confusing. But the outcome is she stays on the committee.”

 

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Antioch School Board approves pay raises for top three district staff on split vote

Wednesday, August 26th, 2020

By Allen Payton

During their meeting on Wednesday, August 26, 2020, the Antioch School Board approved compensation agreements for the top three staff in the district to comply with changes in state law.

AB 1344 makes changes to the Elections Code and Government Code concerning city charter elections, employment contracts for local agency executives, new notice requirements for open meetings, and penalties for misuse of public office. The law impacts principal entities and K-12 education agencies. These contracts incorporate the necessary provisions under state law.

Employment contracts for senior management must be approved at a regularly scheduled board meeting. The amendments to the contracts include a one-year extension and a step increase effective July 1, 2020.

Retroactively to July 1, 2020, Superintendent Stephanie Anello will be paid $270,585; Deputy Superintendent Jessica Romero will be paid $250,651; and Associate Superintendent Christine Ibarra will be paid $216,135.

Trustee Ellie Householder, “I was hoping Ms. Romero could explain to us how this is related to what we voted on at the last board meeting.”

“No, it’s not the same. The last one was looking at the ’19-20 school year. This is for the ’20-21 school year,” Romero explained.

“At the last meeting it was retroactive, although we have the management listed, it’s not saying it’s guaranteed for the next three years. Whoever was in these roles would get this over the next t three years,” Householder said.

“No. The three of us were not at the top step and this takes into account our years of service,” Romero shared. “Your step is generally based on the amount of years with the district.”

“How does this compare with similar positions in neighboring districts?” Householder then asked.

“I think you’ll find it’s in the ballpark of neighboring districts,” said Romero.

“Were these calculations taken into consideration in the budget revise we looked at?” Householder asked. “I’m just concerned about our longevity over the next three years.”

“It was taken into consideration when we looked at the budget,” said Romero. “We calculate a 1% increase across the board for all employees.”

“I will be saying ‘no’ on this…I’m just worried about us being able to afford it. It’s nothing personal. I just don’t think we can afford it,” Householder said.

Trustee Crystal Sawyer-White spoke on the matter next, saying, “I echo Trustee Householder. I review other districts. Parents are unemployed. To extend this contract out until 20-23 we can’t predict the future. Why we can’t take into account the new

“Each year on July 1st, our right to a step increase

“Yes, but we’re in a pandemic, and other districts are required to present a performance review which we haven’t done for the past two years or so,” Sawyer-White said. “I will be voting ‘no’, too. This is not appropriate use of state funds.”

“If you’re going to use that argument, we could use it for every…employee,” said Trustee Gary Hack. “There is precedence on this. It’s brought to us every year. It’s been an agreement for a long time.”

“I’d have to disagree. Classified and certificated employees are not making six-figure incomes,” Sawyer-White responded.

Hack moved approval and Trustee Mary Rocha seconded the motion.

It passed 3-2 with Board President Diane Gibson-Gray voting along with Hack and Rocha.

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