Feb 2 2015

OPINION: Parents and Residents Oppose Focus on Ivy League in Superintendent Search

An e-petition circulated over the weekend of January 30 to February 2 generated over 200 signatures from Piedmont residents and parents according to its organizer, Barry Barnes.
“What we all share is a desire for you to pursue the greatest Superintendent for PUSD regardless of the institution they attended or the field they majored in. We expect that candidates for Superintendent will have a proven track record as teachers, principals, or superintendents and this experience should play a critical role in your decision.
To be clear- we would be very supportive if a graduate of the Ivy League and/or a STEM field is the also strongest overall candidate for Superintendent based on their professional accomplishments in the field of education and serving students of all academic needs. We just don’t want the search to be limited or candidates prioritized based on these factors.”
Thank you for your consideration of this matter,

“As Piedmont parents and community members we urge the school board and their consultants to conduct a comprehensive search for a new superintendent with a broad array of skills and experience. The search should not give special priority to those candidates with science, technology, engineering or math degrees from Ivy League schools.

We specifically do not agree with the opinion expressed by former school board candidate Hari Titan as reported by the 1/30/15  “Piedmonter” under the headline “Wish List for new schools chief: Ivy League degree, access and ability to inspire voiced”:

“Hari Titan, who was a PUSD school board candidate and has children in the district, told Young that he wants to see a new superintendent whose educational background mirrors those of parents in the district, many of whom have attended Ivy League or top-tier schools such as Harvard, Princeton and Stanford. Many Piedmont parents also want their children to attend these schools, so a superintendent should have at least received an undergraduate education from an Ivy League school” he said. “There is so much of an expectation that a lot of parents have where they want their kids to get into top-tier schools,” Titan said. “Given that’s the expectation here, why would we not want our superintendent to come from one of these schools?…He’d (also) like to see the new superintendent with an undergraduate degree in a STEM discipline (science, technology, engineering and math).”

“We disagree with Mr. Titan’s characterizations of Piedmont parents and believe that Piedmont schools need to serve the needs of every student, not just the few on an Ivy League track and not just in the STEM discipline. The next superintendent should be equipped to manage the many needs of our district from AP offerings to special education and everything in between as well as the arts, sports, skilled trades and many more. The bottom line is that we would like to see the Board appoint a superintendent who can relate to all students, faculty, staff, parents and community members – qualities that should be weighed heavier than Mr. Titan’s ‘wish list’ of qualifications:”

Barry Barnes
Carl Tsukahara
Peter deVroede
Kristi Mitchell
Cory Smegal
Tom Smegal
Michael Silverberg
Roderick Alemania
Ed Alazraqui
Michael Berg
Adolfo Rivera
Mary McFarland
Marna Chamberlain
Stephen Blitch
Maria Carson Breber
Laura Katter Katter
Wendy and Jamie Peterson
Jason Harris
Gary Korotzer
Pamela Gelson
Teresa Satue
Barbara Giuffre
Holly Hanke
Ryan Gilbert
Jon Davies
Sharon Shoshani
Clayton Mitchell
Reed Foster
Len Gilbert
David A. White
Douglas Moss
Conna McCarthy
Samantha Spielman
Lynne Spickard
Will Carter
Dale Turner
Larry Hawkins
Pete Nicks
Robin Wu
Mike Zukerman
Sydney Proctor
Sarah Clifford
Amy McKenzie
Katie Korotzer
Elaine Murphy
Mahvash Hassan
Alan Siqueira
Glyn Burge
Jamie Flaherty Evans
Alissa Brownrigg Small
Pam McBain
Erin Rivera
Suzanne Heske
Lori Elefant
Darryl Lim
Denise Lincoln
Paula Silver
Anthony Lincoln
Gabeiella and Allan Gordon
Nancy Lim
Julia Moll
Barbara Withers
Kathleen Winters
Kristen Dixon
Kristen Malan
Lauren Dutton
Jeff Wieler
Austin Linnane
Lisa Kinoshita
Teresa Baum
Sandy Rappaport
Julie Gardner
Matthew Disco
Cormac Craigie
Cynthia Lyssikatos
Liz FitzGerald
Randy Porter
Sharon Filler
Lisa White
Janet D’Annunzio
Beth Barrett
Lori Adams
Wendy Kress
Fran Wolfe
Shannon Rogers
Susan Chiodo
Nick Levinson
Dan Harvitt
Ellen Fraser
Wendy Szczech
Susan Petty
Barbee Rubenstein
Margaret Dunlap
Adi Schacker
Julie Stein
Nancy McHugh
Dane Copeland
Cathie Geddeis
Kirsten Merit
Deborah Banks
Suzanne Sassi
Melissa Montalbano
Kate Grove
Nancy DeRoche
Laura Pochop
Karen Mamuyac
KeriAnne Hohener
Stacy Merickel
Ann Doumanian
Eileen White
Kathleen Henrikson
Carolyn Ridley
Peter Craigie
Susan Willrich
Teresa Stricker
Ariel Trost
Miles Perkins
Daniel Stein
Dave Reilly
Amy Kaminer
Beth Pennington
Nora Canty
Dana Low
Dave Keller
Gina Ekberg
Donna Williamson
Erik Wolfers
Melanie Robertson
Karen Markopoulos
Christine Linnane
Bruce Feder
Jodi Biskup
David Lindenbaum
Judith Rosenberg
Rebecca Thornborrow
Edward Thornborrow
Steven Gregovich
Elana Woodward
Michelle Pacheco
Angela Hom
Matt Heafey
Leslie Quantz
Mary Geong
Kelly Ellis
Karen Mead
Will Strimling
Connor Smith
Leila Hebshi
Claire Stephens
Katherine Rolefson
Veronica Hsieh
Iris Chavarria
Jan Corwin
Anita SooHoo-Cheung
Jennifer Fox
Lindsey Meyersieck
Dana Serleth
Margaret Heafey
Frank Szerdy
Kathy Moody
Jennifer Alderman
Carol Galante
Paul Lahaderne
Jason Feder
Valerie Corvin
Carin Bradley
Anne Gritzer
Cathy Glazier
Ken Meyersieck
Ann Hall
Claudia Harrison
Kristi De Serpa
Katie Anderson
Elise Lomenzo
Adrienne Armstrong
Mary Heller
Karen Engel
Claire Andreas
Curtis Schacker
Rick Smith
Jane Inch
Bert Inch
Amanda Docter
Carole Parker
Julia Burke
Karen Ellis
Dawn Riordan
Tami Becker
Jody Cornelius
Carol James
Mary Ireland
Dennis O’Conner
Jo Ireland
Bryan Cantrill
Allison Cota
Christine Free
Pamela Mercer
Hilary Cooper
Liz and Bert Tuan
Patti Edmonds
Jennifer Hart
Helle Vistisen
Paula Woolcott
Ellen Mann
Cindy Hubert
Debbi DiMaggio
Anne-Marie Lamarche
Alexander Menke
Shahan Soghikian
Editors Note:  The opinions expressed are those of the authors and signers and not necessarily those of the Piedmont Civic Association.

One Response to “OPINION: Parents and Residents Oppose Focus on Ivy League in Superintendent Search”

  1. I quite agree with the views expressed in this posting. I must also add to this that the person selected as our new superintendent posses the ability and willingness to occasionally SAY NO to the many who favor the SPEND, SPEND, SPEND contingent. Just because more money can be thrown at everything that comes before the school administration and the Board, doesn’t mean that it’s always the right thing to do.

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