The Silicon Valley Voice

Power To Your Voice

Laurelwood Elementary Principal Search Rebooted

After public outcry and an accusation by the district superintendent of compromised “integrity”, the search for a new principal of Laurelwood Elementary School will start over.

In a letter sent to the school’s families on April 20, Santa Clara Unified School District (SCUSD) Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Dr. Jose Gonzalez wrote:

“During an initial search for candidates, we sought feedback from stakeholders and used that to drive our interview process. Unfortunately, the integrity of the interview process became tainted when the committee’s deliberations, including protected personnel information for some of the candidates were leaked. This is unfair and unacceptable to all candidates involved and is counter to the type of employer we aspire to be.”

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Gonzalez says the district consulted with labor association presidents and the superintendent’s cabinet before deciding to begin the search, interview and appointment process anew. SCUSD will hold a community meeting at Laurelwood Elementary on Tuesday, April 26 at 6 p.m. to discuss the issue. It has also created a community input survey for families.

Several parents within the Laurelwood community attended the SCUSD School Board meeting on April 7 to speak in favor of the school’s Assistant Principal Paul Fuller. Many of them were upset because they had heard Fuller would not be appointed the school’s next principal despite strong support from the school community.

Many believe the lack of communication about Fuller is just the latest instance of the district administration trying to deceive local families.

“This is not the first time that the Administration has taken action that feels like it may be intended to conceal information that should be open to the public under the California Open Records Act. The school district is supposed to operate in full view,” said Elizabeth, a Laurelwood parent.

“The administration’s actions seem to be pitting us against each other rather than showing that they have the best intentions for our students and teachers,” continued Elizabeth. “For example, earlier this year, the board added an item to a slide show right before a board meeting telling Laurelwood families that they no longer intend to build the school campus that has been promised for the past eight years and supported by two bonds. The dubious actions of the administration raise real concerns, not confidence, and the board should not be cornered into upholding decisions like this that do not seem to put our students and teachers first.”

The district assured the Laurelwood community that “each candidate is evaluated on his or her own merits and we will find and hire an exceptional principal to replace Dr. Rogers when she retires.”

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16 Comments
  1. Bruno 4 weeks ago
    Reply

    This is looking a lot like San Bruno in 2019! https://www.smdailyjournal.com/news/local/san-bruno-park-elementary-school-district-board-dysfunction-fuels-superintendent-s-departure/article_2b336486-828a-11e9-93a5-8bd4aa784fa8.html

    • Janet 4 weeks ago
      Reply

      Exactly! I feel our Board did not vet Dr. Kemp well enough. Here San Bruno legacy is not a positive one.

      • Bruno 4 weeks ago
        Reply

        When she came on three years ago, community members with direct ties to San Bruno said, “Stella likes to make herself look good and only looks out for herself! She will do things to make herself look good.” The community members were not wrong.
        The pandemic crisis is over, it is time to replace her with someone that has the students’ best interests in mind.

  2. Laurelwood Parent 4 weeks ago
    Reply

    If the board is unwilling to oust Kemp, it’s time to recall the board.

    • Laurelwood Parent 3 weeks ago
      Reply

      Absolutely! This is power trip at its best. It is shameful that the people whose kids are being thought do not have a say in this nonsense. Leave mr. Fuller alone!

  3. Laurelwood parent 4 weeks ago
    Reply

    Too bad the article doesn’t mention that the teachers and parents in that first in interview panel all received letters threatening legal action even though they have no proof of who “leaked” the information. It’s shameful – those people are parents and teachers who volunteered their time for this, and because the community spoke up and said they want a person to lead the school (who is already leading the school!!!) Dr Kemp has decided to retaliate rather than listen.

  4. Seth 4 weeks ago
    Reply

    Yet another utter embarrassment. It is time to remove Dr. Kemp. Why do we continue to let subpar leaders, guide our future leaders in our community. Mr. Fuller should be principal, end of story.

  5. Bruno 3 weeks ago
    Reply

    Clever tactic by the district office to point to the community as the source of the leak. How could anyone know who was getting the job unless it was revealed to them by the district office? Not sure who told the candidates early, but it should not have been done until the night of the board meeting. Dr. Kemp, people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones!

    It is time for the community members to unite and get a new LEADER for SCUSD. SCUSD belongs to the community members and students not to one person looking to boost their resume!!!!
    Kemp is not a leader, she is more of a dictator at this point.

  6. B Carl 3 weeks ago
    Reply

    There’s a reason homeschooling is becoming more attractive to so many parents. After we pulled our kids from SCUSD, we were surprised at how many resources there are. You’re not on your own and you’re no longer fringe.

  7. Li 3 weeks ago
    Reply

    If this is a true reboot here’s a thought, why don’t we address the elephant in the room first. There is obvious bias, rather than a repeat performance replace Dr. Kemp BEFORE the placement of the Principal position.

    • Bruno 3 weeks ago
      Reply

      I wish it was that easy! We need to organize as a community across schools to get this done.

  8. Neil Cain 3 weeks ago
    Reply

    Can someone clarify this quote from the article: “For example, earlier this year, the board added an item to a slide show right before a board meeting telling Laurelwood families that they no longer intend to build the school campus that has been promised for the past eight years and supported by two bonds.”

    What was promised and not being built?

    • LW parent 3 weeks ago
      Reply

      The board approved and directed the district office to start building a new Laurelwood campus at the Patrick Henry site. After 2 years of no updates, Dr Kemp and the district office decided to make a presentation to the board that they would not build the new campus but just reconstruct the old one. This was presented to the board without any communication to the school or parents. Parents got wind of it, went to the board to point out that the board already told Dr Kemp to build at the new site. Board denied her plan and also told her that she needed to talk to the community…. Huh – funny that part about coming to talk to community never happened…

  9. CNelson 3 weeks ago
    Reply

    The neighborhood is getting the new school promised in the Bond at the corner of teal and Dunfird, they’ve been in planning for the last year or so. There have been school and community meetings.

    • CNelson 3 weeks ago
      Reply

      We were able to give input at the meetings and I think there’s another one planned.

      • Jeff 3 weeks ago
        Reply

        The district has been very strategic in their meetings and “design process” to try and not build the new school. Stay informed with the misdoings of this districts because they will try and “pull a fast one.”

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