Tag Archives: Bill Huyett

School board launches new superintendent search

The new headquarters of the Berkeley Unified School District
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The Berkeley Unified School District board has launched a new search for a superintendent, following the failure of two attempts to appoint a new head last year. The board has engaged Ray & Associates, an executive search firm that specializes in education, to lead a nationwide search for a new superintendent. The job posting cites a “tradition of excellence rooted in a vibrant community.”

As part of the new search, the board is planning to issue a survey this Friday, and will hold community forums for input on Feb. 28, Mar. 1 and 2. The intention is to interview semifinalists for the post at the end of March.  … Continue reading »

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BUSD board vows to be more inclusive in new chief search

The Berkeley School Board at its Wednesday night meeting. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
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A seemingly chastened Berkeley school board announced Wednesday night that it will restart its search for a new superintendent in early 2013  and will be more open and inclusive in the process.

Before opening the meeting to public comments, Leah Wilson read a statement from an iPad that the entire board had put together, presumably at its Tuesday closed-door session when it was scheduled to discuss Edmond Heatley’s selection for superintendent. But Tuesday morning, before the meeting, Heatley withdrew his name from consideration.

“We agree with and respect Dr. Heatley’s conclusion that despite his experience, skills, and achievements as an educator, Berkeley is not the right fit and we support his decision to withdraw,” said Wilson. “The Board acknowledges how difficult this time has been for everyone involved. We are and will be committed to serving and supporting all our children and their families. When we re-initiate this search after winter break, the Board is committed to doing so in a manner that reflects our community’s request for greater inclusivity and transparency.” … Continue reading »

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Berkeley school district names likely new superintendent

Edmond Heatley, the unanimous finalist for BUSD superintendent
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Berkeley Unified School District looks set to name Edmond Heatley as its new Superintendent, pending agreement on his contract.

Heatley is currently Superintendent and Chief Executive Officer of Clayton County Public Schools, a school district near Atlanta, Georgia.

BUSD says they have narrowed the field of candidates down to one and that is Heatley. Once due diligence is completed, the Board will be in a position to formally offer Heatley an employment contract.

Heatley announced his resignation from his post yesterday, saying he was leaving for an unspecified post.

“The board believes we have our superintendent,” said Board President John Selawsky. “We just need to fill in the details.”

Selawsky added that even though the appointment is not confirmed, the board wanted the community to know that they are in the final stages of finding a replacement for Bill Huyett, who recently retired.

A district team, headed by School Board member Karen Hemphill, is today in Georgia completing a site visit in Clayton County Public Schools where Heatley is superintendent. The visit consisted of interviews with school board members, parents, teachers, staff, district administrators, union leadership, and community leaders. Selawsky said Hemphill had reported that the visit went well. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley goes back to school amid transitions

The classroom settles in.
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School started Wednesday for more than 9,400 students in Berkeley’s 11 elementary schools, three middle schools, and two high schools.

At Emerson Elementary School, students lined up on the playground in their class configurations and gave a big cheer of E-M-E-R-S-O-N, Emerson!, before entering their new classrooms.

2012-13 will be a year of transition for the district. The administration moved into new headquarters on Bonar Street in mid-August, and saw the retirement of Superintendent Bill Huyett a few days later. The search for a replacement has taken longer than expected, and the school board last week appointed two interim superintendents, both current administrators, to temporarily oversee the district. They are Javetta Cleveland, Deputy Superintendent, and Neil Smith, Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley school district names interim superintendents

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Berkeley Unified School District has named Javetta Cleveland and Neil Smith, both BUSD staff, as joint interim superintendents for an unspecified period of time until someone is found to fill the shoes of former superintendent Bill Huyett who has retired.

BUSD Board President John Selawsky said at the board’s meeting on Wednesday night that a candidate is currently being interviewed for the district’s top position.

Cleveland, who is BUSD Deputy Superintendent, and Smith, who is Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services, took up their duties at the Wednesday board meeting.

Huyett, who has now left the position of superintendent, announced in December that he planned to retire after four years in the job. … Continue reading »

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Two interim superintendents to take reins at BUSD

The new headquarters of the Berkeley Unified School District
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The Berkeley Unified School District may have new leadership as early as next week, but it will only be temporary.

The school board voted in closed session Wednesday night to hire two administrators to serve as tandem superintendents. The idea is to have the pair lead the district for two to three months while the search for a permanent superintendent continues, according to Karen Hemphill, a member of the BUSD board. The current superintendent, Bill Huyett, is retiring.

The board voted in closed session on the concept of hiring tandem superintendents, but did not vote on any individual contracts, so the names of those under consideration do not have to be released, said Hemphill. She added that two have stepped in for Huyett in the past when he went on vacation.

“We don’t have a contract signed,” said Board President John Selawsky. “It’s premature to name people.” … Continue reading »

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Berkeley school district settles into new headquarters

The Berkeley Unified School District has moved into new headquarters at 2020 Bonar Street, right near University Ave. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
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The Berkeley School District has spent much of the past two weeks moving into its newly renovated headquarters at the West Campus at 2020 Bonar Street.

The school district spent $10.5 million to renovate the building, which was used for years as the Adult School and as a home for ninth graders before that, according to Mark Coplan, the district spokesman. Most of the employees from the district’s main headquarters at Old City Hall, operational offices on Oregon Street, and the Annex at 1835 Allston Way moved to the new site. The move was prompted by concern that the Old City Hall, which the district had used for 37 years, was not seismically sound. The project was paid for with money from two school district bond measures, AA and I.

The renovated West Campus is light, airy and modern, with plenty of conference rooms, a number of classrooms, and even a view of the Golden Gate Bridge from some rooms. … Continue reading »

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Costs unknown for Berkeley High School harassment case

Berkeley High School
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By Anika Anand and Emily Hartley
California Watch 

After a Berkeley High School student complained of sexual harassment by her guidance counselor, the Berkeley Unified School District spent $94,000 on lawyers to fight her claim.

Then in February, school officials made a $57,500 insurance payout to settle the girl’s lawsuit, according to court records and interviews.

The financially strapped school district’s spending on the controversial harassment case probably was greater. But for the past year, school district officials have refused to disclose how much they spent on the case, ignoring information requests filed under the state’s Public Records Act by California Watch and by a legal watchdog group, the First Amendment Coalition. … Continue reading »

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BUSD renews search for superintendent

Bill Huyett
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The Berkeley Board of Education voted on Thursday to initiate a new search for the position of Superintendent after an first round of interviews failed to throw up a suitable candidate. Incumbent superintendent Bill Huyett has agreed to extend his contract to give the board time to find his replacement.

In a statement, the Board said that a broader search was needed “to find the candidate that possessed the unique qualities desired in the next Superintendent.”

“The Board of Education is taking its responsibility of finding a good match for the District seriously,” said Board President John Selawsky. “The process of interviewing several candidates has already helped us to more clearly identify the kind of leader we are looking for. We have very high expectations for our next superintendent and I am optimistic that we will find the right match for the District in the next few months.” … Continue reading »

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Berkeley school district cuts to tackle $3M deficit

BUSD Superintendent Bill Huyett:
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Berkeley school district Superintendent Bill Huyett published an open letter yesterday outlining the BUSD budget for the next school year. Specifically he addressed the district’s need to find savings to make up for a $3 million deficit.

Below is the letter which precedes a public budget forum to be held Thursday March 29 at 5:30pm at the City Council chambers.

Dear Berkeley Schools Community Members,

For yet another year I am writing to you about significant cuts to Berkeley Unified and all California public schools. The Governor’s proposed reductions for the next school year, coupled with the loss of $1.7 million in federal stimulus funds and our increasing costs, leave us with a structural deficit of $3.0 million. This figure may increase depending on factors like enrollment and certain reimbursements, which are yet to be finalized. … Continue reading »

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What does Berkeley want from its new schools head?

Retiring BUSD Superintendent Bill Huyett: the search for his successor should conclude by May
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A series of public meetings and workshops with teachers, administrators and classified staff took place over the last four days as part of the search for a new Berkeley schools superintendent to replace Bill Huyett, who is retiring on June 30.

Interested members of the community are also being encouraged to complete an online survey as part of the search (the survey in Spanish is here).

Carolyn McKennan and Maggie Carrillo Mejia, from search firm Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates, led the meetings and workshops which will be used to draw up the profile for the new appointment. McKennan and Carrillo Mejia will present the profile to the Berkeley Unified School District board at its meeting next Wednesday. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley school district settles sexual harassment case

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The Berkeley School Board last night voted to approve a settlement in a federal sexual harassment lawsuit against the Berkeley Unified School District, which includes compensation of $57,500 and conditions imposed on Anthony Smith, the Berkeley High counselor at the center of the case. BUSD has also committed to revising its training and policies on sexual harassment as part of the settlement. BUSD denies any liability in this case.

Lilah R. (the fictitious name under which she sued) was a 16-year-old junior at Berkeley High in the 2009-2010 school year when she, she said, she was subjected to persistent and pervasive conduct of a sexual nature by Smith, her academic counselor.

Lilah R. reported that Smith caressed her inner thigh and made unwelcome comments, such as he wanted to “share feelings” with her, asked her if she slept naked, and asked to work out together. Although Smith denied the charges in Lilah R.’s complaint, an initial BUSD investigation found that Lilah R. was the more credible witness and that Smith’s conduct was “inappropriate and unprofessional.” Lilah R. sued after BUSD rejected the family’s suggestion to remove Smith from the high school campus. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley Schools Superintendent Bill Huyett to retire

Bill Huyett
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In a surprise move, Berkeley Unified School Superintendent Bill Huyett announced today that he will retire on June 30, 2012.

In a statement published on the BUSD website, Huyett said: “I was drawn to Berkeley because I saw an opportunity to work on the achievement gap. With a committed Board, dedicated staff, an involved community and the 2020 Vision, much has been accomplished in the past four years.  Now I’m ready to pass the torch so I can spend more time with my wife and family.”

“Bill is an intense family man,” said BUSD spokesperson Mark Coplan, adding that when Huyett accepted his current position, his wife took retirement. “Bill’s wife has been enjoying retirement for four years now and Bill would like to do the same,” he said. … Continue reading »

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