Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Logan Principal Don Montoya will be reassigned to unspecified duties next year as part of an administrative purge announced today.
Montoya announced his reassignment, effective July 1, to the school's staff at a hastily called staff meeting after school. He didn't say what his new duties would be. He added that the district will conduct a search for a new principal.
In a press release, the district announced that David Pava, Deputy Superintendent of the New Haven Unified School District since 2001, and former Logan principal, will retire in the fall.
"With the District facing a huge reduction in state funding, Superintendent Dr. Pat Jaurequi said she will not be filling the position.," said the press release.
Three other district schools will have new principals. The district announced today that Kitayama Elementary Principal Gary Suplick has requested a return to classroom duties, and Emanuele Elementary Principal Marguerite Herrera has announced her retirement.
Barnard-White Middle School Principal Karen Saucedo earlier announced that she will retire when Barnard-White closes at the end of the current school year.
Montoya called the emergency staff meeting without identifying the subject of it in an email sent near the end of the school day, then announced it over the school's public address system during seventh period. Dozens of staff members filed into the Little Theater to hear him make the announcement.
At the meeting, he made a brief statement announcing the reassignment and expressing his gratitude for having had the chance to be principal of the school from which he graduated.
After the meeting, he emailed an announcement to staffers unable to attend the meeting. "I want to share with you that I have accepted a reassignment for next year. I would like to be able to share with you what the reassignment is, but other staff are involved and so I cannot do that at this time. This change will be effective in four months from now (July 1st). You need to know that Dr. Jaurequi and I have talked extensively about this reassignment and I do understand the rationale for the change. The search for a new principal will begin in March. I am prepared to move forward to my new challenges and opportunities," he wrote.
"It has been a privilege to serve as the Logan principal for 7 years. It is an experience I will never forget. I look forward to continuing to serve in providing some support to Logan as it continues to implement Small Learning Communities and the Logan Tactic Plan; and to provide support to the NHUSD schools and community, and to help support the new principal in any way that I can."
He recorded a similar message to be delivered to parents using the school's automatic phoning system.
Other district-level staff changes are money-saving moves, according to the press release.
"Four other district-level management positions also are being eliminated as the District plans for a $7 million reduction in funding, as a result of Governor Schwarzenegger’s proposal to slash the state’s education budget. A number of other management employees will be notified that their workyears may be reduced or their assignments changed," said the release.
“The cuts that we are being forced to make are deep and devastating,” Dr. Jaurequi said in the release. She explained that most of the employees being told now about the layoffs are covered by a March 15 legal deadline for such notices, meaning the Board of Education must consider the layoff resolutions Tuesday, at its last meeting before the deadline.
As part of the process of closing Barnard-White, classified employees at the site are receiving layoff notices this week, though many are guaranteed jobs elsewhere in the system, according to the release.
“Next month, we will be notifying a number of classified employees, district-wide, that they also will be receiving layoff notices,” Dr Jaurequi wrote in a message to all employees this week. “Again, many of these employees are guaranteed jobs elsewhere in the system. In both cases, we hope to be able to find openings for at least some of the others through attrition.”
Dr. Jaurequi also noted that the District is “in the process of determining what kinds of cuts will be made to other services.”
“At the same time, I am pleased to announce that even though we must reduce our certificated workforce by 50-60 positions, no Probationary I or Probationary II teachers will receive March 15 layoff notices,” Dr. Jaurequi wrote in her message to employees. “Selflessly, a number of veteran teachers who were planning to retire at the end of the school year, aware that the budget situation threatened the job security of their younger colleagues, have given us official notice of their intent earlier than we usually receive this information.”
In addition to the Deputy Superintendent’s position, the District also is eliminating the positions of Director of Strategic Planning and Development, Director of Maintenance and Operations, and Director of Technology/Media, as well as a District-level Literacy Specialist’s position being filled by a principal on special assignment. Two of the affected employees are being reassigned and a third is retiring.
Dr. Jaurequi said New Haven will try to make strategic decisions as it deals with the budget cuts being forced on schools across the state by the Governor.
“Two years ago, our District adopted a Strategic Plan designed to make budgeting and decision-making a product of the New Haven community’s vision for the education of our children. A Strategic Plan is even more important in times of lean than it is in times of plenty,” she wrote in her message to employees.
“To that end, the Strategic Plan is the lens through which we are viewing the financial crisis that has been forced upon us. It is the basis for our decision-making about where and how to make reductions; it will be the basis for our decisions about where and how to spend in the unlikely event that the situation improves.”