Business continues at Clayton Valley Charter High
School during investigation
By Lou Fancher
With the Clayton Valley Charter High School community hoping an investigation will resolve ongoing conflicts about the school's governance and operations, several items of business were completed at the regularly scheduled monthly meeting.
The board seated as its newest trustee, Richard Asadoorian, a former Contra Costa County Board of Education member, approved amended bylaws, established an elections committee and timeline for filling the remaining open teacher representative board seat, introduced replacement co-athletic directors, and other matters.
Despite the actions taken to move forward, the investigation launched by the Contra Costa County district attorney and the County Office of Education cast a pall over most of the meeting. The DA's office has asked the board to respond to inquiries related primarily to the Brown Act, which defines open meeting law for public entities.
A letter from Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools Karen Sakata, sent to Clayton Valley executive director David Linzey, seeks public records related to 13 areas of the school and board's operations.
Linzey and Ted Meriam, chairman of Clayton Valley's governing board, have said the school is cooperating with both agencies.
During extended public comments at the Feb. 11 meeting, opponents of the administration, and Linzey in particular, continued to point to 530 signatures on a change.org petition posted by community group Stakeholders for Transparency as evidence of broad discontent with the administration's shortcomings.
But several staunch supporters of the current administration credited Linzey with the clean campus, strong graduation rates and a responsive "open door" policy they said had helped their children.
People on both sides of the issue said they hope the disputes will end when the investigation brings resolution to the yearlong divisiveness.
Asadoorian, appointed with a 5-2 vote to a retired teacher seat on the board, made clear his position during the public interview preceding his election.
"I don't come to this board with Mr. Linzey pulling my strings," the retired Fresno principal and longtime teacher said. "Any vote I make will be my vote."
Teacher representative Amber Lineweaver and community-at-large representative Jim Killoran voted against Asadoorian's appointment.
In a 6-1 vote, the board approved bylaw amendments that primarily addressed the election process used to seat new board members. Lineweaver requested the subject be tabled until after the investigation. The rest of the board, while agreeing additional changes were needed, said holding up approval was not in the school's best interest.
The board is seeking a teacher representative to fill a vacancy, and approved a schedule that will have the teachers elect their representative March 10. Asadoorian, Meriam and Megan Komer were appointed to the special election committee. After the teacher rep is seated March 11, the board will have filled all vacancies.
Linzey introduced co-administrators Eric Bamberger and Thomas Sparks to replace Lineweaver as the school's athletic directors. Earlier in the meeting, Lineweaver had objected to being removed and her class assignments altered.
"I was fired and I didn't deserve to be fired," she said. In an email on Feb 14, Lineweaver said she was informed of the termination Jan. 25.
Linzey responded to a request for information about Lineweaver's dismissal with an email statement sent on Feb. 14.
"CVCHS needed to improve our oversight and leadership in athletics. For this reason we chose to change to a co-athletic director situation to ensure we handle all aspects of athletics oversight and management. I felt the need to go with veteran coaches to fill these positions to provide CVCHS the best leadership possible and to eliminate the errors and minor infractions that have been made."