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  • Thursday, August 10, 2017


    Will Christensen be asked back to OUSD?

    OUSD Superintendent drama continues...
    OUSD Superintendent Michael Christensen 
    Some Trustees call for Christensen to return as Superintendent
    The Thursday August 10, 2017 OUSD Board of Education Special Meeting  may go down in OUSD annals  as one of the shortest Board of Trustee meetings in district history and one of the most surprising.  

    The Regular Session of the Special Meeting was called to order by the Board Clerk, Trustee Kathy Moffat because Board President Rick Ledsma and Board Vice President John Ortega were absent from the Regular Session. Also absent from the Regular Session was Trustee Timothy Surridge.  The three absences left a quorum of the remaining four trustees- Moffat plus Trustees Dr. Alexia Deligianni-Brydges,  Brenda Lebsack and Andrea Yamasaki.

    Moffat had the Closed Session decisions ( as required by the Brown Act) reported by Ed Kissee, OUSD Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources ( the highest ranking administrator present at the meeting).  Kissee reported that under Closed Session Item 4 A that the OUSD Board had voted 7-0 ( all trustees present and voting) to hire a new elementary principal and new high school assistant principal.

    When the Action Agenda Item 10 A was next presented- the meeting quickly became unexpected. 

    Agenda Item 10 A was to be a discussion with and  direction given to Dr. Jacobson, the owner of the consultant  firm McPearson & Jacobson- chosen to help find the new OUSD Superintendent. 

    Trustee Moffat however started the agenda item by stating that discussions had taken place about the Interim Superintendent appointment (Agenda Item 4 B) and that she was now putting into the meeting record that she requests that the renewed contract that the OUSD Board had negotiated with Superintendent  Michael Christensen in February be placed on the Regular Session meeting on August 17th. 

    Trustee  Lebsack  stated that she agreed with the idea of bringing Christensen back as the Superintendent.

    The meeting was then adjourned.

    The timeline of the OUSD Superintendent drama has become more clear since the November 2016 election that brought OUSD the passing of its first Bond Measure- Measure S. 

    On January 19, 2017, the  OUSD Trustees gave the Superintendent an evaluation during the Closed Session.

    During the February 15th, 2017 meeting, the OUSD Board during Closed Session met with OUSD Attorney Spencer Covert concerning the offer to Superintendent Christensen for a new contract. The agenda item included the phrase "no final action will be taken in closed session".   Sources in the district report that during this meeting a contract for Christensen was agreed upon.

    That contract did not appear for approval on the March Agenda.

    The April 13, 2017 Agenda again had a Closed Session item concerning Christensen's contract. Fifteen days later, on Friday March 28th, Christensen announced his retirement.

    The February agreed to Christensen contract terms were not placed on the OUSD Agenda for over two months-apparently eventually leading Christensen into retirement.

    The first OUSD Board Meeting after Christensen's announcement  May 17, 2017 had a closed session agenda item for consideration of an Interim Superintendent.  Now, three months later and OUSD still has no Interim Superintendent and the process for replacing Christensen appears to be mired in chaos.   In addition, after Christensen's announced retirement, OUSD Assistant Superintendent of Business Services "Joe" Sorrera left OUSD.

    After a failed compressed attempt to find a candidate from inside OUSD, in June the OUSD Board started the process to hire an consultant firm to recruit a superintendent.  The consultant firm that was decided on was the controversial McPherson & Jacobson.  The problems with McPherson & Jacobson became clear during the July 27th OUSD Board meeting featuring  a teleconferencing call from Dr. Thomas Jacobson the owner of McPherson & Jacobson  as conflicting information was given by Dr. Jacobson.

    Now without three top administrators, school starting and  Measure S High School Bond work pending, three Trustees skip a Special Meeting on replacing the Superintendent and Trustee Kathy Moffat is left trying to get the OUSD Board to place a contract for Superintendent Christensen-approved seven months ago-on the agenda next week to approve. 

    The question now remains, will tonight's missing OUSD trustees try to block the move to return OUSD's "Superintendent of Excellence"  and keep OUSD in chaos? 

    Of course Surridge, Ortega and Ledesma will try to block appointing a "Superintendent of Excellence"! They have blocked any progress our district has tried to make. They voted to not include Canyon and Villa Park in Measure S. They care more about promoting their poker buddies than finding qualified candidates. They never have the best interest of our children in mind, just promoting Surridge's hap hazard agenda. Ledesma used to be better than this, but he's probably the worst because he is actually smart and should know better than follow Surridge. They waste so much tax payer money I do not know they call themselves "conservatives". Vote them out people!
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