Two Clayton Valley charter school trustees resign
By Lou Fancher
Clayton Valley Charter High School board members Amber Lineweaver and Dana Tarantino resigned Wednesday night, both asserting again that the board majority has continued to make poor decisions affecting the school.
School board Chairman Ted Meriam on Thursday issued a statement saying Lineweaver's and Tarantino's resignations signify the end of efforts to sabotage the school's administration.
The two trustees' departures, Meriam said, "demonstrated the failure of this yearlong campaign to 'take back the school,' manipulate CVCHS's governance and create divisiveness within our community."
Lineweaver, a teacher and founder of the charter, has taught English at Clayton Valley for more than 20 years. She was also the school's athletic director until being fired from that position by Executive Director Dave Linzey in January. Tarantino, a math teacher at the charter school, joined the board in March.
In departing, Lineweaver told fellow board members at Wednesday's meeting she held "deep disappointment in the choices you have made for this last year."
Lineweaver said unfair-labor claims had been filed by the California Teacher's Association, 14 staff members have resigned, and she listed other complaints she said have been made. She also said the board had been acting as "a rubber stamp for the executive director."
Tarantino said Wednesday night she believed the board was not currently able to exercise effective leadership and oversight.
"It is my firm belief that this board is not able to effectively answer to the true stakeholders of any public school, and that is the taxpayers," she said.
Tarantino said 61 teachers signed the original charter, and that only 23 of them remain at the school. Referring to that volume of departures as "hemorrhaging," Tarantino said it was an indication of "true dysfunction."
In his statement Thursday, Meriam said the board asked for Lineweaver's resignation in September after a formal "no confidence" vote.
That, along with Tarantino's departure after only two months on the board, prompted Meriam to say, "It is clear that they were not serving on the board with duty of care and loyalty to the students and school, but for the political agenda of their constituency."
After Meriam's statement on Thursday, Lineweaver reiterated Wednesday's criticisms.
"Board manipulation, lack of transparency and failure to listen to the voices of the students, teachers and community by the board have caused irreparable harm to our students and community," she said. "The board's actions have made it clear that students are not their concern."
Tarantino did not immediately return a call for comment about Meriam's statement. The board on Wednesday appointed Mike Fine as community-at-large trustee. Fine will serve an eight-month term ending in December 2015.