Retired Amador Valley High principal Hansen appointed interim superintendent

Search for permanent superintendent will begin in upcoming school year, says board president

During a special closed session meeting, the Pleasanton school board appointed Jim Hansen as the interim superintendent for the 2015-16 school year, replacing outgoing superintendent Parvin Ahmadi, who will become the new superintendent of Castro Valley Unified School District effective July 1.

"I look forward to working with my colleagues at PUSD and engaging with the many students, parents, and community members I had the pleasure of meeting over the years, as well as those who are new to Pleasanton," said Hansen.

Hansen has worked in public education for 34 years, at many different levels, before retiring from PUSD in 2013 as Amador Valley High principal.

"Jim is a person who cares passionately about Pleasanton and the education of our children and we are grateful that he has agreed to re-join us during this period," board president Valerie Arkin said in a statement released Monday night.

Arkin added: "As we embark on a search for a permanent superintendent, one that will commence in the beginning of the upcoming school year, we look forward to involving our staff and community in a very thorough, inclusive, and transparent process."

Prior to closed session, seven people spoke during community comment asking board members to carefully consider the interim superintendent.

"An interim superintendent will need to be a motivator and have integrity, ethics and strong communication skills in order to effectively reach district employees and the community to boost morale and begin to mend the many fractures in this community," said PUSD employee Linda Pipe, who also thanked trustees for their continued consideration in the decision process.

Kay Ayala echoed Pipe's statements and added that the board needs to appoint a proven leader in the community that's known and respected.

Pleasanton parent Chris Jacobs also addressed the board about rumors of deputy superintendent Luz Cazares walking out of the boardroom during the June 9 board meeting and using profanity directed toward a board member in front of parents and students in the hallway.

Former trustee Jeff Bowser followed Jacobs' comments and said he was there when Cazares walked out to use the bathroom and no profanity was used.

The last regular school board meeting of the 2014-15 school year starts at 7 p.m. tonight in the district's boardroom, 465 Bernal Ave.

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69 people like this
Posted by Al Cohen
a resident of Del Prado
on Jun 23, 2015 at 6:37 am

Jim is a man of high integrity and commands instant respect from students, parents and teachers alike. I am proud that the school board has chosen Jim to end this sad period of chaos and turmoil at PUSD. Hopefully a capable replacement is selected so Jim can go back to his retirement life of family, friends and travel. Aloha, Jim and Judy.

53 people like this
Posted by SportsMom
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jun 23, 2015 at 7:47 am

This is exactly who our district needs. Jim is such a terrific person & stands for all that education for our children should be! As soon as I heard Parvin was leaving, Jim was the person I immediately thought should be her replacement. He is a role model for district staff, respected by students & has a natural personality in the educational environment. He's well respected in our community I've worked with him both in a professional & parental role. He is the perfect PUSD superintendent. Congrats Jim.

50 people like this
Posted by Joe
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Jun 23, 2015 at 7:57 am

Regarding Mr. Hansen's appointment - a communicator and motivator and someone who is committed to improving education in Pleasanton. Welcome back Jim.

35 people like this
Posted by Joe
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Jun 23, 2015 at 8:08 am

Regarding Mr. Bowser's comment - I sincerely hope that one of the parents who were present in the lobby will file a complaint. It's long past the time for this type of behavior to stop.

71 people like this
Posted by Please be honest
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 23, 2015 at 8:20 am

I was at the meeting in question. I overhead (painfully and uncomfortably) the hallway discussion, having walked out after the handful of those who followed Ms. Cazeres out. I figured I could slip out too during the segment where the superintendent was saying goodbye, and the board was giving farewell comments. Ms. Cazeres stormed out first, followed by Mr. Bowser and his wife, and the teacher's union person, Janet. A few others were with them, not sure about their names but there were 8 or 9 people in their group. The teacher union president said "I can't listen to that!". Ms. Cazeres said, very loudly, "I want her to know we walked out on HER! I wish everyone would get up and leave". As the board members spoke (they were watching on the TV in the lobby) Cazeres mocked one of the trustees about how they mentioned teamwork, and said "Now she's talking about being on the same team". She also got angry when a trustee mentioned that she had recommended Ms. Ahmadi prior to her hiring, saying "She's taking credit? I can't listen". When a board member used the word "transparency", the teacher's union president said "Transparency? I should go in there wearing nothing but cellophane" and did a dance around while the others laughed.
The most surprising behavior was when Ms. Cazeres rallied the group to re-enter the room, clapping her hands loudly once and saying "OK, everyone, let's go back in now. We've made our point". They all followed laughing. Mr. Bowser's wife said "We've made a political statement". There is no doubt that the entire incident was group behavior, led by Ms. Cazeres. At no point did she leave to use the restroom, as implied by Mr. Bowser. She stood watching the meeting on TV.

I believe Mr. Bowser was correct, however, that no one cursed. I don't recall any curse words. However, what i heard was much worse. To witness a highly paid executive from our district lead a childish revolt in a public setting was upsetting. Not to mention that clearly our administrators and unions are "bedfellows", high fives and all. I can't imagine any of our parents, residents, or taxpayers would support such an inappropriate and dysfunctional relationship between the deputy superintendent and union president (and ms. bowser, the union vice president).

Ms. Cazeres, please look at the core values the district supports. The values we ask our children to embrace. How do you match up? How do you behave? What you exhibited was "mean girl" behavior. Bully behavior on steroids. If the board does not replace you, please improve. For the sake of our children. Thank you.

35 people like this
Posted by Heidi
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jun 23, 2015 at 9:00 am

Great decision. And thank you, Mr. Hansen, for dedicating more of yourself to Pleasanton's education.

35 people like this
Posted by Well done trustees
a resident of Birdland
on Jun 23, 2015 at 9:26 am

Great move by the board. Given all of the issues an interim is the best option. Jim Hansen is well respected and well liked. Thank you Mr. Hansen for taking on what will be a formidable challenge.

Ms. Cazares and Mr. Douglas, the writing is on the wall. Before you lash out consider that Pleasanton is not the first District to decide that you were not their best option for a Superintendent. Ms. Cazares, if any of the above post is true you need to look in the mirror to see why you are not an effective leader and not capable of being a Superintendent.

9 people like this
Posted by susN
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jun 23, 2015 at 9:31 am

Great pick by the school board, they should offer him the permenate position. If he does not want it. The school board should promote someone from our own staff. The last supertendant of schools was a disaster I pity Castro Valley. In fact is was a $1000500. disaster!

24 people like this
Posted by Ridgerunner
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Jun 23, 2015 at 9:39 am

Thumbs up on Hansen. Cazares should be terminated immediately for such childish, counterproductive, unprofessional behavior.

21 people like this
Posted by Gram-ME
a resident of Amador Estates
on Jun 23, 2015 at 9:53 am

I've thought of Mr. Hansen this whole time for this as permanent position. He is GREAT! PUSD needs him and many MORE like him. He DOES care about these students.

28 people like this
Posted by Educated
a resident of Foothill High School
on Jun 23, 2015 at 10:22 am

Please, please, please let Mr. Hansen be a key part of the selection process for the permanent superintendent.

5 people like this
Posted by Get the Facts
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 23, 2015 at 10:31 am

Get the Facts is a registered user.

He should NOT be part of the selection process, that would be a conflict of interest.

9 people like this
Posted by Bob
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 23, 2015 at 10:37 am

His first order of business should be liquidate the two Assistant Superintendents. After this is done the new Superintendent can put their own staff in place. He should most definitely be part of the selection committee

33 people like this
Posted by Julie
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Jun 23, 2015 at 10:49 am

I was at the meeting last night. Having been a frequent speaker at the podium over the years I was surprised by Jeff Bowser's behavior. If anyone had ever jumped up to the podium, in the middle of discussion, without turning in a speaker card, breaking all protocol in such a disrespectful manner, he would have scolded them and not given them the floor.
Mr. Hansen is a good man, a good leader, and a good choice for interim superintendent.

12 people like this
Posted by I just can't believe
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jun 23, 2015 at 11:01 am

I cannot believe that people on this blog are upset over Ms. Cazares' actions. She has a right to walk out and show her disapproval. So does the Jeff Bowser and anyone else who wants to voice their concerns, without drastically interrupting the meeting.

I also can't believe people are defending Jamie Hinztke's actions to take pictures of the audience. I don't care if you think the audience is always on T.V. during board meetings (which is not the case, but I've seen it posted). That is MUCH more threatening than walking out for a short period of time.

Ms. Cazares - you have done so much for our district. We would have had a MUCH larger group of teachers that were laid off a few years ago if it weren't for you. You are not appreciated and I encourage you to find employment elsewhere. It will be problematic for PUSD, but we do not deserve you.

2 people like this
Posted by Oh good, someone with experience
a resident of Castlewood
on Jun 23, 2015 at 11:03 am

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]

8 people like this
Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jun 23, 2015 at 3:27 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

Everyone should just take a deep breath of fresh air, lean back, put the feet up, relax.

Let the new SUP get to work, let the board do their work.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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