Tag Archives: Leah Wilson

10 people apply for vacant school board post

The BUSD Headquarters on Bonar Street. Photo: Kaia Diringer
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Ten Berkeley residents — including a former aide to Mayor Tom Bates, the former top administrator for the city of Oakland, a UC Berkeley law professor, a nuclear scientist, a Berkeley High math teacher, and a longtime member of the high school’s Safety Committee — have applied to fill the vacancy on the Berkeley Unified School District board.

The applicants are vying to fill the seat vacated March 31 by Board President Leah Wilson. The district will whittle down the list to a set of finalists by April 24. Those candidates will be invited to give a three-minute presentation to the board and the community at a May 1 meeting. The school board hopes to select Wilson’s replacement by May 8. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley school board seeks replacement director

BUSD headquarters on Bonar Street. Photo: Kaia Diringer
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Berkeley Unified School District’s board Wednesday night agreed on the procedure to appoint a replacement director for Leah Wilson, who resigned earlier this month. The board has posted an application for directors on its website, with responses due by April 15. The board plans to make an appointment at a special May 1 meeting, with the regular board meeting on May 8 as a fallback in case agreement can’t be reached.

The Berkeley city charter allows the board make an appointment within 60 days of a vacancy occurring. After that point, the County Supervisor can order a special election.  … Continue reading »

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Berkeley school board president Leah Wilson resigns

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Leah Wilson, president of the Berkeley Unified School District’s board, today announced her resignation, effective March 31. Wilson recently accepted an appointment as Court Executive Officer for the Alameda County Superior Court. That role presents potential conflicts of interest in future litigation.

“It’s potentially chilling to litigants that might be engaged in litigation with the district,” Wilson said. “It was something that I was told would not work. But it’s beyond bittersweet. It’s an incredible career opportunity and at the same time it has resulted in my not being able to fulfill the commitment I had made.”

Wilson was elected to the board in 2010 and assumed the presidency last year. She faced the delicate task of bringing the board together after a split over superintendent choice in the spring of 2012, and then the collapse of the search when finalist Edmond Heatley pulled out last fall. … 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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Likely new Berkeley school superintendent under scrutiny

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The Berkeley school board tonight will hear a report in closed session on the site visit to Clayton County, Georgia, to assess the lone finalist for the district’s vacant superintendent post, Edmond Heatley.

The board released Heatley’s name on Friday, although there is no contract yet approved. Heatley resigned from his Clayton County post last Wednesday. According to school board members, the expectation is that Heatley’s formal appointment will be considered at the September 19 board meeting.

While Heatley is reported to have made significant improvements to a troubled school district in Georgia, he has also come under fire for his management style and actions he took there, such as having his wife on the school district payroll at a time when budgets and jobs were being cut. His children also had summer jobs with the school district. According to BUSD director Wilson, these and other issues were considered in the board’s due diligence.

“In the aggregate, we were satisfied that a number of issues that had been raised in the media in Georgia had been addressed,” she said. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley district votes to fund at-risk edible programs

Edible schoolyard Malcolm X
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Late last night, the Berkeley Unified School District School Board voted to authorize funding up to $350,000 for three elementary schools — Malcolm XRosa Parks, and Washington — that were in danger of losing their gardening and cooking programs for the next school year.

The move came as welcome news for all those involved in the programs and anyone who champions teaching children to eat, grow, and cook their greens.

“The Board showed a remarkable commitment to edible education by continuing to fund the garden and cooking programs at Malcolm X, Rosa Parks, and Washington next year,” said Leah Sokolofski, who supervises the program for the district. “The decision is dependent on the district receiving Network for a Healthy California funding. We are still waiting for more information to be released about the Network funding. The district’s current Network contract continues through September 30, 2012.” … Continue reading »

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