The HUUSD Board voted on June 10 to extend Superintendent Brigid Nease’s contract for one additional year, meaning that she will continue to lead the district through June 30, 2022.
The board views this extension as providing an opportunity for the district to:
- Move through COVID-related logistical and financial challenges with as much stability as possible.
- Keep the administrative team intact so that it can support new leaders at Harwood Union and Warren School.
- Finalize and implement a preK-12 plan.
- Make a transition plan to recruit, hire and welcome a new superintendent in 2022.
The board recognizes that the challenges in our district are not limited to financial strain or the uncertainty caused by the current pandemic. In recent weeks, we heard from community members who did not advocate for renewal and who are frustrated and upset with the board. The board has begun discussions about what we as a board can do to address some of these concerns. At the beginning of this school year, the board articulated a vision of our district “to provide a rigorous, innovative and student-centered educational experience in a welcoming and inclusive environment while ensuring equity, effectiveness and efficiency” and to do this in partnership with our community. We are looking to take steps that will bring us closer to fulfilling this vision.
We want to make clear that while our vote is not unanimous, we all fully support and stand behind this decision. It is time for our board to lead the way in unifying our district. We know there is much work to be done and we are confident that Superintendent Nease can continue to provide effective leadership during this transition period. We are committed to moving towards intentional and positive changes that build up our schools, our students and our community.
The board’s next steps include working with Superintendent Nease to define goals for her work in the two years ahead. Superintendent Nease has already identified communications, culture and climate as areas in need of immediate attention. Our board, too, is actively contemplating how we can most effectively both direct and support the superintendent and her team through the changes and challenges ahead.
Hollister is chair of the HUUSD Board.