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  • Sunday, June 11, 2017


    SPECIAL REPORT: OUSD Superintendent search

    Trustees take search outside OUSD
    OUSD Trustees called a Special Meeting on Saturday June 10th for Superintendent search 

    After initially searching within Orange Unified , a split OUSD Board voted 4-3 in a Closed Session Special Session to hire an outside consulting firm to  search for a new superintendent at an unprecedented Saturday Special Session on June 10, 2017.

    The Agenda for the June 10th Orange Unified School Board referenced replacing the retiring OUSD Superintendent Michael Christensen as Consideration of Appointment of Superintendent . Hiring an outside firm will take time and require a contract vote, thus requiring the appointment of an Interim Superintendent.  

    Unlike past OUSD superintendent searches, the current search has been very much under the radar-with many community members unaware that a search was taking place.  After the almost universally appealing appointment  of longtime OUSD administrator Michael Christensen to Superintendent six years ago, OUSD Trustees again moved to appoint from within the district ranks alerting administrators late last month of that decision. Reportedly however, the search inside OUSD had few administrators interested with just one top OUSD district office administrator and one principal applying.  Community sources close to that principal report that the principal last week withdrew from consideration.

    Greater Orange Community members learned of the pending selection of a new OUSD Superintendent as contacts from applicants looking for community support required in the application process.

    The Saturday Special Meeting was the first public confirmation that the process had advanced to the OUSD Board of Trustees.

    The California Brown Act requires all meetings, including special meetings to be noticed 24 hours in advance.  Other Brown Act notifications of Special Meetings include:
    ·      That advanced notice includes the requirement of written notice to be sent to each trustee (unless waived in writing by a trustee).

    ·      Written notice must also be sent to any local newspaper, radio or television station that has a notification request on file. That request must be renewed yearly.

    ·      A written notice also must be posted on a public place accessible to the public.  OUSD has routinely posted those notices outside the OUSD Board Room. 

    Coming less than 48 hours after the regular Thursday June  8th OUSD Board Meeting, the 9:00 am Closed Session meeting came after a whirlwind 24 hour period in OUSD one week before the end of  a ground-breaking school-year.

    At the Thursday night OUSD Board Meeting,  the OUSD Board presented the popular out-going OUSD Superintendent Michael Christensen a resolution of appreciation.  The audience in the OUSD Board Room at the end of the presentation applauded with a standing ovation. 

    The next day on Friday June 9th, an unscheduled bargaining session on stalled talks between the district and the district's educators reached a tentative agreement on a two-year salary deal.  That agreement capped a six-month bargaining process which according to the OUEA website includes a one-time off the pay-schedule 1% bonus ( see link below). The negotiated first time OUSD off-schedule pay bonus appears to be a victory for the district since it would not be an ongoing expense. 
    For more information click on: Agreement

    The tentative agreement (which still must be voted on by both sides) comes on the departure of not only Superintendent Christensen, but also  the Chief Business Officer-Assistant Superintendent Joe Sorrea who has accepted a position in Dublin Unified.

    OUSD's recent superintendent searches have both looked internally and externally.  The last Superintendent hired from within before Christensen was Dr. Godley. The last Superintendent hired from outside was Dr. Drier who was recruited from Colorado.

    Just this month, Lynwood Unified and Oakland Unified filled their superintendent spots from within.  In Lynwood, Deputy Superintendent Dr. Gudiel Crosthwaite took over on June 1st after the former Lynwood Superintendent Paul Gothold left for the top post of Superintendent of San Diego County  Department of Education.    In Oakland, an 18 year district veteran  Interim Deputy Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Tramme will take-over as Oakland Unified  Superintendent. The Oakland Unified Trustees turned to the long-time district employee after wide-spread community criticism of the "parade" of  superintendents in the district's top post-a total of eight in the last 16 years.  Oakland had not been able to fill the most recent vacancy since the last Oakland Superintendent Antwan Wilson resigned in November of 2016 to become Chancellor of Washington D.C. Public Schools. 

    I'm very glad to hear that the Board is looking outside of the district for a new Superintendent. The one person who I thought might replace Mr. Christensen has caused too much turmoil and employee distress without any positive or progressive result. I am very happy to learn that the Board is looking elsewhere. Thank you for this information.
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    Greater Orange News Service is a community service of the Orange Communication System /OCS/, the communications arm of the Greater Orange Community Orgainization