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.”
At the only forum planned for school board candidates before the election, three of the four candidates criticized the existing board’s choice of a Broad Academy graduate as finalist in the superintendent search and committed themselves to an improved process for choosing a new superintendent. The three, incumbent Beatriz Leyva-Cutler, Judy Appel and Tracy Hollander, were diplomatic, but all said Broad Academy policies did not fit in Berkeley.
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.
Now that its one finalist for the post of superintendent has withdrawn his candidacy, the Berkeley Unified School District board will probably not begin looking in earnest again for a replacement to retired superintendent Bill Huyett until late winter or early spring 2013.
Now that the search for the Superintendent of the Berkeley schools is back at square one, there will be plenty of time for members of the community to engage with the Board on the substance and process of their continued search. But the fiasco that just unfolded offers a few obvious lessons that the Board would be wise to heed.
Edmond Heatley has withdrawn his candidacy for the post of Berkeley Schools district Superintendent. Heatley was the only candidate in the running, after the school board let it be known on Aug. 31 that they had narrowed to field down to one.
The Berkeley Unified School District Board has announced that it will hold a special meeting tomorrow, Tuesday Sept. 18, at 8:30pm at its new offices at 2020 Bonar Street.
The pending appointment of Edmond Heatley as superintendent of Berkeley schools has been vocally protested this week by parents and teachers who are concerned about his role in the passage of a resolution in support of Proposition 8 when he was superintendent in San Bernardino County’s Chino Valley school district. But the then-president of the Chino Valley board said yesterday that Heatley was merely putting together an agenda item on his instructions. Proposition 8 sought to outlaw marriage equality in California.
According to information uncovered last night, Edmond Heatley, the sole finalist for superintendent of Berkeley schools, pushed a resolution supporting Proposition 8 when he was superintendent in Chino Valley in 2008. The school board announced last night that it was slowing down the process of appointing a new superintendent, so next week’s scheduled vote on Heatley’s appointment will not take place.
Edmond Heatley, the sole finalist for the vacant post of superintendent of Berkeley’s schools, wrote a memo in 2008 urging Chino Valley’s Board of Education to approve a resolution in support of Proposition 8, the measure to prohibit marriage equality in California.
The credentials of Edmond Heatley, the only finalist for the vacant Berkeley schools superintendent post, have come under fire from the Berkeley Federation of Teachers, as well as from individual teachers and parents.
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.