PLEASANT HILL, Calif.,– County Superintendent of Schools Lynn Mackey has confirmed receiving the resignations of all four members of the Oakley Union Elementary School District Board of Trustees. A fifth seat was vacant.
In response to the resignations, Contra Costa County Board of Education President Annette Lewis has appointed two members of the county board to serve as temporary members of the Oakley Union Elementary School District Board. A third appointment is pending.
California Education Code (Section 5094) gives the county board of education president the authority to appoint members of the county board to serve on a local school district governing board in the event a majority of seats become vacant.
Lewis has appointed herself and fellow county board member Mike Maxwell to the OUESD board. A third seat will be filled by county board member Consuelo Lara or Alaina Villeda, who was appointed by the previous OUESD board before the resignations. Villeda has not yet been sworn into office and has not indicated whether she will take the seat.
With three trustees, the OUESD board will have a voting quorum.
“The appointments are temporary,” Lewis said. “I look forward to working with the OUESD community to determine the best course of action to fill these seats with people who will represent the best interests of students, families, teachers and school staff,” Lewis said.
The seats can be filled with appointments or by special election.
On Friday, the following letter was sent out by Superintendent Greg Hetrick:
Dear Oakley Union Elementary School District Family,
I want to inform you that Board Members Kim Beede, Erica Ippolito, Richie Masadas and Lisa Brizendine have submitted their resignations from their position on the OUESD School Board.
As a District, we will continue to proceed with the work that we are engaged in to bring our students back to school. There will be a lot of details in the coming days about what will be taking place and I will be providing you with a complete update.
Board members Kim Beede, Eric Ippolito and Richie Masadas asked that the following statement be shared with you:
We deeply regret the comments that were made in the meeting of the Board of Education earlier this week. As trustees, we realize it is our responsibility to model the conduct that we expect of our students and staff, and it is our obligation to build confidence in District leadership; our comments failed you in both regards and for this we offer our sincerest apology.
We love our students, our teachers and our community, and we want to be part of the remedy to help the District move forward, returning its full focus to students needs. To help facilitate the healing process, we will be resigning our positions as Trustees of the Oakley Union Elementary School District, effective immediately. The Superintendent will be working with the Contra Costa County Office of Education to address the vacancies on the Board of Education.
This was a difficult decision, but we hear the community’s concerns, and we believe yielding to your request that we step down will allow the District to move forward. Please do not let our failure in judgement cast a shadow on the exceptional work that our teachers, administrators and hard-working employees are doing for the students of this District. They deserve and will need your support as you move forward.
I want you to know that it is a tremendous privilege to serve as the Superintendent of the Oakley Union Elementary School District. Oakley is and has been a special place to me and it is truly a community that loves its children and wants what’s best for them. With that responsibility, I am committed to returning the attention to student learning and getting our students back in school. This unfortunate situation will not discourage or detract me from working to build back the trust in our community and return our students safely back to school as soon as possible.
I will be providing you with another update as to our next steps in the coming days. I want to say thank you for all that you do and I truly believe that working together, we do make a difference. Hvae a great day. Be well,
Greg D. Hetrick.
Superintendent, Oakley Union Elementary School