Thursday, May 7, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Peterson resigns from Davis school board

Nancy Peterson

Davis Board of Education member Nancy Peterson announced her resignation from the board Thursday evening. She is pictured here at a special meeting Feb. 13 at which she recused herself from the current controversy surrounding the volleyball coach at Davis High School. Sue Cockrell/Enterprise file photo

By
From page A1 | March 07, 2014 |

In a surprise announcement, Davis school board trustee Nancy Peterson resigned Thursday evening, the latest move in a continuing dispute over the volleyball coach at Davis High School.

Her decision stunned her fellow board members and those in the audience at the Community Chambers at City Hall.

In addition, two district administrators have been dismissed from their current positions and reassigned to classroom duty, board president Gina Daleiden announced following a closed-session meeting Thursday. It was not immediately clear whether either is involved in the dispute between Peterson and coach Julie Crawford. Daleiden and Matt Best, assistant superintendent for human resources, declined further comment.

Reading from a prepared statement, Peterson referenced that controversy, which has made headlines and dominated public discussion since early February, when Crawford learned that she would not be rehired for the boys volleyball season.

“I believe the best way to serve all students is to defuse speculation and end further distractions so that the board may carefully deliberate the findings of the district’s report” covering the investigation of her family’s complaint against Crawford, Peterson said. “Therefore, I resign my position as a trustee for the Davis Joint Unified School District, effective immediately.

“It is no secret that the victim at the center of the complaint is my daughter, a student in this district,” Peterson continued. “Over the years, countless families have expressed fear about the perils of challenging staff when wrongdoing is perceived. Most do not speak up and I can understand their choices to remain silent.”

Peterson also observed that “this is a precedent-setting moment for our district. The result will set the tone for students and family engagement now and into the future.

“Moving forward, may we become more sensitive to and forever mindful of those who have not yet discovered the strength of their voices,” she said. “My sincere hope is that one day, this district can create and sustain a culture of advocacy and responsibility absent of fear.”

Vacant seat

Peterson’s resignation raises questions about how her seat on the board will be filled. She was elected in November 2012 and her term would extend to November 2016.

According to board policy, the remaining trustees can either order an election or make a provisional appointment. Daleiden said the board hasn’t yet discussed which route it will take.

But a vacuum in leadership may be opening up on the board. Daleiden and trustees Tim Taylor and Sheila Allen each has served nearly nine years. Allen is running for the Davis City Council on June 3, and Taylor and Daleiden have not yet announced whether they intend to seek re-election.

The fourth remaining trustee is Susan Lovenburg, who was first elected in 2008 and was re-elected in 2012. Her term extends to November 2016.

With Peterson’s departure, there are other logistical implications. The board will continue to need a three-vote majority to approve resolutions, even though there are currently only four trustees. And three trustees must be physically present for school board meetings to convene, and sometimes, members travel for business. On occasion, they participate in board meetings by telephone from out of town.

Teachers concerned

Speaking earlier Thursday, before Peterson’s announcement, DHS teacher Kelly Wilkerson told trustees that teachers are concerned and feel unsettled by the controversy.

Wilkerson said that while Crawford is “a respected colleague … I don’t know her well. I had hoped, and trusted, that the site administrative staff — larger now than it’s ever been — would look into any allegations and make a swift, and definitive, ruling so that our school, and the students involved, could move on.”

“What I never expected was the long and confusing odyssey that has transpired over the past several months. I know you (the trustees) have heard from hundreds of people. I’m here tonight because I want you to know how this has affected the teachers you employ.

“We are confused. And we are wary. We don’t understand the process that’s been used. We don’t understand why a private personnel matter has become so very public. And we really don’t understand the sudden, confusing turn last week — when the coach … was asked to hire a mediator to resolve her dispute herself.

“We wonder: Is this the new normal?” Wilkerson asked. “What if a parent lodges a complaint against us … should we expect an ad hoc response that changes weekly?”

Complaint filed

Such a complaint was filed against Crawford last fall by Rob Peterson after his daughter was cut from the volleyball team before her senior season. During the prior two years, Nancy Peterson had lodged several oral complaints against the coach, raising concerns about inadequate supervision of players and mishandling of funds, among other issues.

As a school board member, Nancy Peterson twice voted against renewing Crawford’s contract as boys and girls volleyball coach.

The school district responded to the written complaint by assigning an attorney to investigate; he concluded that Crawford’s decision not to give the Petersons’ daughter a spot on the volleyball roster was a retaliatory move against Nancy Peterson. The report cost the district more than $22,000.

Although DHS Principal Will Brown and athletic director Dennis Foster signed off on Crawford’s variable services agreement for the current season, that VSA was not forwarded by administrators at the district office to the school board for approval.

Crawford has appealed that decision, which is scheduled to be heard by the school board in closed session on Thursday.

That hearing is expected to take place, despite the fact that the school board urged mediation as an approach to resolve the conflict between Peterson and Crawford. Mediation — which would have involved Crawford, the Peterson family and the school district — would have involved the willing participation of all parties, and at least one of the parties involved reportedly has rejected the request.

— Reach Jeff Hudson at [email protected] or 530-747-8055.

 

 

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Internationally known musician Butterscotch brings it home for Whole Earth

    By Landon Christensen | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    May’s ArtAbout is a wheely big show

    By Sandy Thai | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Whole Earth Festival honors ‘Rooted Living’

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Colleges move to expand services for immigrant students

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Fourth of July concessionaires solicited

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3Comments are off for this post

     
    Per Capita Davis: A shout-out to Cool Davis

    By John Mott-Smith | From Page: A3

    Learn all about bats on a Putah Creek night tour

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    U.S. gives farmers approval to spray crops from drones

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Concert aims to fund wheelchair-accessible van

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Nesbitt speaks at Senior Health and Fitness Day

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Don’t forget STEAC’s food drive Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Sudwerk celebration marks debut of new mural

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Davis Bicycles! members always step up

    By Bob Schultz | From Page: A4

     
    Awards recognize work with special-needs students

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A6

    Independent study enrollment underway

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

     
    Tour de Cluck tickets on sale now

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7 | Gallery

    .

    Forum

     
    The big problem with the new SAT

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

    The Davis I knew is gone …

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

     
    Recruit blacks for police jobs

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

    Thank you, Davis pet community

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

     
    .

    Sports

    Devils end regular season with a bang

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    UCD’s Vivolo is league’s top linkster

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Hot-shooting Aggie women open NCAA golf regionals

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    UCD hoopsters honored for community outreach

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Tour of California to speed through Davis

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Sports briefs: Aggie Nixon wins BW weekly award

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

     
    Youth roundup: Diamonds rock Regionals in Long Beach

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

    Junior wrestlers and their coaches compete in Natomas

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

     
    Pro baseball roundup: Aces double down on River Cats, 6-3

    By Staff and wire reports | From Page: B10

    .

    Features

    DHS journalism students auctioning variety of services

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

     
    Young journalists have Birch Lane covered

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: B4 | Gallery

    Rec Report: May is Water Safety Month

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

     
    What’s happening

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: B4

    SHED, a modern grange in Healdsburg

    By Ann Evans | From Page: A10 | Gallery

     
    A century of life, love and happiness

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

    .

    Arts

     
    Disco dance party set Sunday at I-House

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

    Choral concert to present ‘Songs of Peace’

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    ‘The Art of Being an Aggie’ extended to May 22

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

    The Show Ponies to perform at Davis Bike Collective

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Local boys return with band KALYDE for Whole Earth Fesitval

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

    The question is: Is there craft beer?

    By Michael Lewis | From Page: A9

     
    Winners of Student Writing Contest featured at Stories on Stage Davis

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Thursday, May 7, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B8