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High school administrator changes spark frustration

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Eight vice and assistant principals got the news via email this week that they will be moving to new school sites in the fall. Some teachers are frustrated at what they call a lack of communication from the Lodi Unified School District.

The moves are lateral changes, according to Dawn Vetica, LUSD assistant superintendent of secondary education. That means the employees are not being promoted or demoted, but staying in the same position. The only change is the school site.

She said moving vice and assistant principals to new schools helps to prepare them to be principals in the future.

"It is good for all administrators to be offered a variety of experiences," she said.

The administrators in question were informed by email at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, and some said they did not have notice before the email that a move was possible.

"Admins always know there is shuffling at this time of year. But our vice principal had to hear from a teacher. It shows disrespect for the administrators and all the work they put in to not even get a phone call," said Tammi Boschee, a longtime Lodi High School teacher, who says she is upset that her school's leadership team is breaking up.

A new principal and vice principal were announced for Bear Creek High School next year. Bill Atterberry will leave Lincoln Technical Academy to lead the North Stockton school, with assistant principal Sera Baysinger taking the vice principal position.

The rest of the unannounced administrative changes are as follows:

  • Erin Lenzi, vice principal at Lodi High, will move to Tokay High School.
  • Joe Williams, assistant principal at Lodi High, will move to Tokay High School.
  • Martha Dent, vice principal at Tokay High, will move to McNair High School.
  • Dee Morell, assistant principal at Tokay High, will move to McNair High School.
  • Sarah Solari, vice principal at McNair High School, will move to Lodi High School.
  • Mark Dawson, assistant principal at McNair High School, will move to Bear Creek High School.
  • Marlon Gayle, assistant principal at Bear Creek High School, will move to Lodi High School.
  • Allen Dosty, principal at Henderson Community Day School, will move to Bear Creek High School

Tokay principal Erik Sandstrom is preparing his team for the challenges of taking on new roles and hitting the ground running next year. Sandstrom said Dent has worked at Tokay for 26 years.

"We serve at the will of the district. Our training and background prepares us for leadership at any school," said Sandstrom.

Williams was hired just a year ago by a panel of Lodi High employees with their school and needs in mind, said Boschee. If he can be moved so quickly, she wonders why the district doesn't conduct the interviewing and placements for these jobs.

"Our team is strong, and we work so well together. We know there are problems at other schools. To rock the boat at schools that are working well doesn't make sense," said Boschee.

Other Lodi High teachers are frustrated at losing progress they have made in relationships with their supervisors.

"When you have something that's working, why mess it up? What business would kick out their top employees who are getting everything going?" said English teacher Monika Rose.

Rose said she remembers that in the past, teachers had more input in these decisions.

"Just because they can make these decisions, doesn't mean they should," she said.

Contact reporter Sara Jane Pohlman at sarap@lodinews.com.

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