Topic: Jose L. Banda
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September 4, 2013 at 10:41 AM
Parents, students and teachers in Seattle may not have known until about 8 last night whether school would start today, but classes seemed to get under way without a hitch across the city — including at Muir Elementary, where Superintendent Jose Banda visited, talking a little about the contract vote but more about a new art program.
Muir had held an open house on Tuesday afternoon, just before the city’s teachers met downtown to decide whether to accept a tentative agreement for a new two-year contract. Parents and children went home still wondering what might happen, including a strike.
Principal Awnie Thompson told them to listen to the news.
Parent Christine Johnson said she and her second-grade son returned from out-of-town Monday and found three messages from the school district on their answering machine. The first one – for parents to prepare for a possible strike – made her heart sink. But the third held good news – the district and the union had reached a tentative settlement.
When the final call came Tuesday night, saying teachers had voted to approve a new contract, Johnson and many other parents said they were relieved and happy
At Muir this morning, the biggest problem was that the bells had not been adjusted for the school-year schedule, so they didn’t ring at the right times. Thompson said that meant school staff would have to ring them manually today.
“If that’s as bad as it gets,” she said, “we’re good.”
April 29, 2012 at 11:04 AM
Seattle school superintendent finalist Steven W. Enoch withdrew his candidacy Saturday night, citing his sense that he is not right for the job.
Enoch, currently the superintendent of San Ramon Valley Unified School District near San Francisco, emailed his decision to Seattle School Board members at 5 p.m. Saturday.
“I have concluded that what Seattle needs is a younger person, potentially able to provide longer stability and direction for the district,” wrote Enoch, who will turn 63 next month. “I believe you have two very viable candidates that will better meet the long-term needs of the district.”
Enoch added he enjoyed his visit to Seattle for final interviews last week.
“I loved the tours of the schools, meeting with staff, students and community leaders,” he wrote. “I most enjoyed meeting each of you as you are all wonderful individuals, who give unselfishly so very much to the the children of Seattle.”
In a brief statement, School Board President Michael DeBell expressed disappointment in Enoch’s decision.
“We know this is a two-way process and we want to find a leader who is a good fit for Seattle, and who believes Seattle is a good fit for them,” DeBell wrote.
The School Board scheduled a meeting Sunday evening to discuss the other two finalists: Jose L. Banda, superintendent of Southern California’s Anaheim City School District and Sandra L. Husk, superintendent of Oregon’s Salem-Keizer School District.
Seattle Public Schools has a history of its superintendent finalists dropping out. During the last national search, in 2007, one of two finalists took his name out of contention, leaving only Maria Goodloe-Johnson, who was hired. The time before, in 2003, all four finalists withdrew.
April 24, 2012 at 1:29 PM
The first of three finalists for superintendent of Seattle’s public-school district, in town for final interviews, said at a news conference this morning that his top priorities would be to understand the community and build stability among the staff.
Jose L. Banda, currently the superintendent of Anaheim City School District in Southern California, took pains to compliment Seattle Public Schools, which he called a “jewel.”
Banda, 55, who has never served in a district as large as Seattle and has never dealt with the type of public scrutiny that exists here, also praised the community.
“I see the attention from the media, I see the politics here, as being a good thing. You have people who want to be actively engaged,” he said.
While he offered few specifics about what he would do if selected, Banda said he would not craft a new district strategic plan and would not move to make immediate changes in the central administration.
“I’m not the kind to come in with a set plan,” said Banda, adding that “there’s nothing more important than getting feedback from the community.”
Banda voiced qualified support for several tenets of the so-called education reform movement, including Teach for America, standardized testing and including student test scores as a component of teacher evaluations. But he said it is important to go slow and weigh all potential changes individually.
Banda appeared a bit uneasy during part of the brief session, at one point forgetting a word while answering a question in Spanish (he is bilingual). He called the interview process “intense.”
At the same time as his news conference, fellow finalist Steven W. Enoch was visiting schools. He will meet with the media tomorrow. Another finalist, Sandra L. Husk, will arrive tomorrow and meet with the media Thursday.
Whoever is selected will replace Interim Superintendent Susan Enfield, who will become schools chief in Highline in July.
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The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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