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School board fills more administrative posts, discusses accountability plan

By From page A1 | June 20, 2014

The Davis school board approved hires to fill several administrative posts on Thursday night. The meeting also included a public hearing on the school district’s Local Control Accountability Plan.

The new hires are Jonathon Brunson, who will fill the new position of director of personnel services, and Stephanie Gregson, who will assume the restored position of director of curriculum, assessment and learning.

Brunson has been principal at Douglass Middle School in Woodland since 2005. He earned a certification from the Association of California School Administrators in 2011 in the area of personnel administration. Brunson also served as assistant principal at Winters High School from 1998 to 2005, and was a social studies teacher and the activities director at Davis High School from 1995 through 1998.

Prior to that, he taught at Yuba City High School from 1987 to 1995. He earned his bachelor’s degree at Chico State, a master’s in education from the University of LaVerne, and an administrative credential from Sacramento State.

Gregson has been principal at Tom Hawkins Elementary in the Jefferson school district in Tracy since 2010. That school serves upwards of 800 students ranging from transitional kindergarten (age 4) through the eighth grade.

Gregson also was an adjunct professor at Sacramento State from 2010 to 2012, where she developed a course on increasing language fluency among students who are English learners. She also worked in the Washington Unified School District in West Sacramento from 2004 to 2010, serving in positions ranging reading program coordinator to assistant principal.

Gregson began her teaching career in the Sacramento City Unified School District in 1997, teaching grades 4-6 at Ethel Phillips Elementary. She earned a bachelor’s degree, a teaching credential, an administrative credential and a master’s degree at Sacramento State.

The school board also made several internal administrative moves around the district:

* Kenneth Durham, who had been serving as half-time vice principal at Emerson Junior High and half-time manager of student services at the district office, will become the full-time vice principal at Harper Junior High. He fills a vacancy created when Kerin Kelleher was recently promoted to Harper principal.

* Karrie Hernandez will assume the half-time position of manager of student services at the district office, a slot formerly filled by Durham, and will continue as half-time teaching position at Montgomery Elementary.

* Jennifer McNeil becomes half-time vice principal at Emerson Junior High, a slot previously filled by Durham, and will continue as half-time crisis guidance manager with the school district.

* Natalie Zehnder also will be a part-time crisis guidance manager. She previously held a half-time position as a psychologist and a one-third-time position as a crisis guidance manager.

The school district is still working to fill a part-time position of vice principal at Davis High School.

The school board also held a public hearing on the district’s proposed Local Control Accountability Plan, which is required as part of the changes ushered in by the state’s new Local Control Funding Formula. The LCAP basically outlines how a district plans to use state funds that are intended to promote the education of students from low-income households and students who are English learners. All California school districts are expected to approve an LCAP by the end of June

Teacher Cathy Haskell asked that the Davis school district’s LCAP be modified to reconcile issues relating to a possible conflict between efforts to reduce student suspensions and expulsions — a goal identified by federal authorities on civil rights grounds — and the safety of students and teachers, some of whom have been assaulted on occasion by some students.

Other speakers included parent/activist Hiram Jackson, who called for more pupil and student involvement in the annual update of the LCAP, and parent/activist Alan Hirsch, who called on the school board to get more trees planted to shade school district playgrounds and green areas. Hirsch suggested that the school district should aggressively try to get “mitigation trees” that are currently being planned for planting at soccer fields to the east of town.

Superintendent Winfred Roberson said the district will continue to take public comment on the accountability plan through the end of the business day today. There is a comment link on the school district’s website at www.djusd.net/lcap.

The school board is expected to formally approve the plan at its meeting next Thursday.

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

Jeff Hudson

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