Archive for Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Wakarusa Valley principal resigns

March 30, 2010


Wakarusa Valley School Principal Elias Espinoza is resigning and will leave the Lawrence district at the end of the school year to pursue other professional opportunities, the district announced Tuesday.

“I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve had in Lawrence, and I will always remember fondly my time with Wakarusa Valley students, teachers, staff and parents,” Espinoza said in a statement.

Attempts to reach Espinoza were unsuccessful.

Superintendent Rick Doll said Espinoza’s resignation was amicable and “his call.”

Espinoza announced his decision to the school’s faculty and staff Tuesday afternoon.

“He is a good advocate for kids. He was always concerned about kids and always tried to do what was best for kids,” Doll said. “He was always very supportive of the Wakarusa community.”

Espinoza was hired to lead the district’s only rural school building southwest of Lawrence in 2005 coming from L.V. Stockard Middle School in Dallas, where he was principal.

Wakarusa Valley serves 212 students this year. A group of the school’s parents banded together in recent months poring over the district’s budget as board members considered closing elementary schools to address the district’s budget gap.

Espinoza attended several board meetings with parents. Board members on March 9 agreed to make $4.6 million cuts for next year, but they avoided closing any elementary schools for next year.

Board members, who did cut one elementary principal position, also voted to move the East Heights Early Childhood Family Program, which has a principal, into Kennedy School. That school will not have two principals, but Doll said administrators are still working out staffing details. Other than Espinoza, all of the district’s current elementary and early childhood principals are still in the mix for jobs for next year. It’s possible that at least one principal could lead two schools.

“It does give us more flexibility in terms of how we will meet the board mandate,” Doll said of Espinoza’s resignation.

Later this spring, Doll said, the district will announce leadership plans for Wakarusa Valley.


jumpin_catfish 8 years, 1 month ago

Reading between lines = assumptions. Jumping to conclusion may result in a long drop to the bottom.

kugrad 8 years, 1 month ago

The allegations in the first post are just unfounded conjecture as well as being incorrect. 2 principal positions are being eliminated due to the budget. Further cuts could lead to further reductions. There is job security in some districts, but insecurity here. My understanding is that principals at the elementary level were advised to update their resumes and look for work. The idea is probably that some would and some wouldn't, leading some to leave. What I fear is that the district won't fire any principals and will leave underperforming principals in place rather than stepping up to the plate and firing them.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 1 month ago

For the short time Doll has been in office he sure seems to know a lot about Espinoza????

Perhaps it more of a canned choice of words.....

Why was Doll started at $184,000 is my question?

Weseman came in at around $98,000.... I believe.

Clevercowgirl 8 years, 1 month ago

Mr. Espinoza is a well liked principal by Wakarusa's parents and children. He has distinguished himself as person who has the courage of his convictions. However, we do not know all of the facts surrounding his resignation, nor do we need to. Good manners would dictate that we respect his decision, and do not make speculations as to why he is resigning. Most people make career decisions based on a multitude of factors. Let's not tarnish all of his good works by dissecting his choice to resign. He deserves more respect than that.

gr3sam 8 years, 1 month ago

Given known student performance measures at Waky, compared to the other grade schools, this was not a merit decision. Thus, viewed objectively, regardless of other factors, it was a poor decision. Another poor decision. Why is this a recurring theme here? Prudent minds would evaluate for elimination those making unsound decisions, not those whose performance has resulted in actual achievement. Actual achievement: isn't that what parents would expect their kids' teachers and principals to be helping their kids towards? Prudent minds: are there any in our school district's administration?

lettingoffsteam 8 years, 1 month ago

“It does give us more flexibility in terms of how we will meet the board mandate,” Doll said of Espinoza’s resignation. How nice that the district has been given more flexibility due to Mr. Espinoza's "resignation". There was no resignation, and if you believe that there was I've got some oceanfront property in Arizona for you. Now you see how this district operates. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

lettingoffsteam 8 years, 1 month ago

@did I say that - what an excellent idea!

kravist1 8 years, 1 month ago

Honestly people, it doesn't take a genius to read between the lines on this one. Recall at the Central jr high public forum, school board member Mark Bradford's words, on the subject of school closings, were "I would caution you". He was trying to say (evidently to the Wakarusa Valley parents), "be careful what you wish for". So in other words, the SB really wants to close your school but if we can't do that then we'll find other ways to ruin it. Anyone who thinks this wasn't a purposeful move based on nothing more than politics and retribution is puffing on a crack pipe. Shame on you Dr. Doll, may you be treated in a similar fashion in the future.

Clevercowgirl 8 years, 1 month ago

The Clever Cowgirl thinks that ya'll are out of the arena on this one. Let's not add conjecture to discussing why Mr. Espinza resigned. Times are tough in USD 497. He has a family to support and little seniority. Let's not make this into anything but what we KNOW as facts. Unless of course some of you were a fly on the wall when Mr. E tendered his resignation. Let's not play fast and loose with someone's reputation. Mr. E is well respected and liked by many in the district. His concern for our kids is unparalled. Let's not let our grief at loosing such an integral part of the Waky community shift to blame.

fly_on_wall 8 years, 1 month ago

Thank You Mr. Espinza for your great service Best of Luck to you in all your future endeavors. WV I am sorry for your loss, and keep up the good fight.

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