Antioch School Board hears three hours of comments on superintendent’s evaluation

Outpouring of support for Anello, criticism of Board President Householder

By Allen Payton

Before going into closed session, which was supposed to begin at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 13, to discuss the process and details for Superintendent Stephanie Anello’s evaluation, which isn’t going to occur until June, the Antioch School Board first heard about three hours of public comments about the issue. And the speakers were not happy, mainly with Board President Ellie Householder for bringing the matter up prematurely, when she placed it on the agenda of a special meeting on Monday, Dec. 21. (Listen to 1/13/21 board meeting, here)

During that meeting, which was kept to just one hour, from noon to 1:00 p.m., due to work schedules of Householder and other trustees, she explained that there was a misunderstanding and that the matter wasn’t for evaluating Anello. Instead, she claimed it was merely for discussing the process to educate the two new board members, Dr. Clyde Lewis and Antonio Hernandez. Householder and only allowed three of the over 200 comments submitted to be read.

That sparked an accusation by former Board President Diane Gibson Gray that Householder and the board violated the state’s Brown Act open meeting law and called for them to correct it or she would file a formal complaint with the California Fair Political Practices Commission. (See related article)

Most of the comments during the Jan. 13 meeting were in support of Anello, including members of the public and district staff, and harshly critical of Householder. Speakers didn’t accept her explanation that it was merely for informing the new board members of the evaluation process.

However, several speakers were misinformed that Householder had called the special meeting. It was actually scheduled by school district staff to deal with another closed session item. Householder added the item regarding Anello’s evaluation, which she confirmed at the conclusion of the public comments.

“I just wanted to make a quick note that I actually did not call the special meeting in December,” Householder said. “So, just for the record, I just wanted to throw that out there because that seemed to be something that came up a bunch.”

The board then voted to complete the remainder of the regular meeting agenda before ending with the closed session.

The next board meeting will be held Wednesday, Jan. 27th and will begin at 7:00 p.m. See the agenda, here.


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