School Board welcomes new hires and more at final meeting of 2021-2022 school year

Farewells, welcomes, and acknowledgements were on the agenda Wednesday evening as the PUSD Board of Education bid goodbye to departing Superintendent Randy Booker and welcomed a new interim superintendent and assistant middle school principal to the district.

The Board also approved a new MOU with Piedmont Makers related to donations and naming of classrooms in the high school STEAM building, approved a resolution related to the 50th anniversary of Title IX, approved the 2021-2024 Local Control and Accountability Plan and 2022-2023 budget, and tied up other end-of-year loose ends. (Trustee Hilary Cooper was absent.)

Farewell to Superintendent Booker and reflections on past year

Departing Superintendent Randy Booker took time at the top of the meeting to reflect on his 19-year tenure in Piedmont and to praise the many women in particular who served as mentors and partners during that time, calling out current and past School Board members, administrators, and others.

“I want to express how grateful I am,” Booker said. “All of these opportunities [in the district] have helped me grow personally and professionally.” Booker will become superintendent of San Mateo Union High School District on July 1.

Reflecting on the past tumultuous year, Trustee Cory Smegal highlighted the Herculean effort undertaken by staff, school nurses, health clerks, and families to keep schools open. Smegal made note of the range of school activities that returned and other athletic and academic accomplishments and also acknowledged the administrative changes ahead. “We have to look at these transitions and changes as opportunities as we move forward,” she said.

Dr. Donald Evans welcomed as interim superintendent; full search process outlined

The Board unanimously approved the contract of Dr. Donald Evans for a one-year term starting July 1.

“I’ve been impressed with your understanding of Piedmont, commitment to excellence, and collaborative spirit,” Smegal said in welcoming Evans, who attended the meeting in person. “I’m very excited that Dr. Evans has agreed to join us to help us through this transition,” said Smegal. “We feel like this is a terrific match and we are grateful that he will help us bridge time between Randy’s departure and a new superintendent.”

She said the Board made a deliberate decision to engage an interim superintendent in order to conduct a comprehensive nationwide search for a permanent superintendent.

The district said that over the summer and fall, the Board will select a search firm to coordinate the search for its next permanent superintendent and that meetings will take place in the fall to gather input from students, staff, families, and the community. The superintendent position will be posted in the winter with interviews to take place in the winter/spring. PUSD’s next superintendent will be named in the spring and will assume their new position on July 1, 2023.

“It is truly an honor to be here,” said Evans, addressing the Board Wednesday night. “After retiring from Berkeley, I thought I would never be back, but there is no other place that I would want to be than here. I can’t wait to work with the students — that’s the reason why we are here.” (In a bit of Bay Area levity that had the room laughing at one point, Evans pointed to his feet — confessing to the Board that a debate about the Warriors vs. Celtics with his father right before the meeting distracted him so much that he walked out the door in mismatched shoes.)

Board ratifies appointment of Angela Barrett as new Piedmont Middle School assistant principal

The Board next unanimously approved and welcomed Angela Barrett to PUSD. Barrett will move into the position vacated by Karyn Shipp when she was selected to become the new Piedmont Middle School principal.

“I think you’re going to be an unbelievable asset to PMS,” said Booker. “You are going to be a team force [with Karyn Shipp] to be reckoned with … the kids will love you.”

“I am so honored to join the community and staff. I can’t wait to see you in person,” Barrett said, joining the meeting via Zoom.

Board approves revised MOU regarding donations to engineering lab in STEAM building

Piedmont Makers founder and current president Dave Ragones, along with Helen Potter and John Lambert (2022 Makers of the Year recipients) appeared in person to present a revised MOU to the Board that included naming recommendations for several rooms in the new Piedmont High School STEAM building.

The engineering patio, engineering lab, and an adjoining classroom will be named after: Annie Jump Cannon, who shares credit for developing the Harvard Classification System attempting to organize and classify stars based on temperature and spectral types; Raye Montague, who was the first person to design a ship using a computer; and Mary G. Ross, the first known Native American female engineer and the first female engineer at Lockheed where she was a founding member of the acclaimed Skunk Works project in the 1950s.

The Board lauded the Makers’ trio for their longtime commitment to building the district’s engineering program, which kicked into gear when the the 2016 facilities bond was passed and plans for the new high school buildings were conceived.

Piedmont Makers, a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation dedicated to support and inspire STEAM education, has pledged $420,000 in monetary donations to enhance the equipment, staffing, and operation of the STEAM building’s Engineering Lab. The donations are intended to support resources for traditional and digital fabrication and are subject to 11 restrictions and conditions.

Also approved:

Title IX proclamation

2022-2023 budget and LCAP

Universal PreKindergarten Planning and Implementation Grant Program Plan

Resolution 33-2021-22 – Authorizing Cash Transfers of Funds

Resolution 34-2021-22 – Authorizing Year-End Budget Transfers And 2022-23 – School Year Budget Transfers

Resolution 35-2021-22 – The Education Protection Account

2022-23 Tentative Agreement Between Piedmont Unified School District and The California School Employees Association, Chapter 60 (“All CSEA bargaining unit members, as of July 1, 2022, shall receive a one time salary bonus of $2,750 per 1.0FTE for the Measure H funds remaining from 2021-2022 and 2022-23 fiscal year.”)

2021-22 Tentative Agreement Between Piedmont Unified School District and The Association of Piedmont School Administrators (Extra work days for 2021-2022 beyond original contract; APSA salary schedule as it relates to longevity; i.e., how to calculate time for those employees who have worked in the district for a number of years in one position and then move into another.)

Resolution 38-2021-22 Declaration of Surplus Property (Disposal of obsolete textbooks, graphing calculators, musical instruments that can’t be fixed.)

The next regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting will be on August 10.

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