I am just back from a five-day vacation without Internet and am reading the local news I missed, including the complications around outgoing Clayton Superintendent Edmond Heatley’s hopes to move into the top schools job in Berkeley, Calif.
According to the AJC, Heatley’s chances of becoming superintendent of the 9,400-student district may be in doubt because of “his alleged opposition to same-sex marriage and his management of the 51,008-student Clayton school system.”
Apparently, community reservations over Heatley increased when Berkeleyside.com, a local online news site, reported that he allegedly backed a resolution supporting Proposition 8 – which recognizes marriage as being between a man and woman — as superintendent several years back in Chino Valley.
Since its passage in 2008, the California constitutional amendment has been controversial. Earlier this year, the voter-approved ban on gay marriage was struck down by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The case may go to the U.S. Supreme Court, although the high court has yet to take the case. (It is possible a decision from the court to hear the case could come later this month.)
The AJC story quotes a Chino Valley Unified School District spokeswoman saying that the criticisms of Heatley over Proposition 8 are misplaced. “The resolution did not reflect Dr. Heatley’s stance on Proposition 8,” said spokeswoman Julie Gobin. “It was created by the board member Michael Calta. Dr. Heatley was asked to place a resolution [about Proposition 8] on the agenda. The board member wrote the resolution and gave it to Dr. Heatley.”
(Berkeleyside.com has a lively debate on Heatley’s role with comments from Michael Calta.)
Berkeley school officials now apparently plan to take their time hiring a new school chief, which is surprising since Heatley already resigned his Clayton post, effective in 15 days.
I can’t imagine Clayton rehiring Heatley, who has made it clear he wants to leave the county.
According to the AJC:
The Berkeley board was scheduled next week to vote on whether to offer Heatley a contract. That vote is on hold now.
Berkeley school board president John T. Selawsky on Friday declined to talk, saying, “This is a pending personnel matter.”
Heatley’s last day as Clayton superintendent is Sept. 30. Luvenia Jackson, a retired 30-year Clayton schools educator, was appointed interim superintendent this week by the school board.
While Heatley’s pending new job may be in limbo, Clayton school officials would not speculate on whether Heatley had a possible future here.
“He’s resigned from our position, and as far as I know, he hasn’t indicated a desire to come back and we’ve already hired an interim,” said Clayton school board chair Pam Adamson.
When asked if the district would consider rehiring Heatley, Adamson said, “I don’t have a clue. Anything I’d say right now would be pure speculation. We’ve done what we needed to do, and now things play out.”
–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog