The School District’s Interim Superintendent Tim Walker has been unanimously approved to become the District’s Deputy Superintendent.
Walker has been serving as Interim Superintendent since Interim Superintendent Michael Matthews left the District. He also has been serving as Assistant Superintendent of Special Education and Educational Services.
The new Deputy Superintendent will, according to the District staff report, “Be responsible for providing leadership to, and the supervision and evaluation of, the Directors from the following departments: Adult Education, Child Development Services, Educational Services, Human Resources, Student Services, Student and Family Support Services and Special Education.” He will also be providing “administrative support and be responsible for the supervision and evaluation of the Principals from various schools as identified by the Superintendent.” His contract became effective September 1, and goes through June 30, 2009.
Before the August 31 Board vote, Superintendent Dianne Talarico noted, “Although I’ve only been here a short amount of time, I have had the opportunity…to work with Mr. Walker via e-mail, phone calls, fax, and I will say he is a strong leader with strong convictions. He has wealth of knowledge. He’s highly competent. I know that he and I can work as a great team. Based upon my observation of the senior leadership team, we need consistency and stability right now and it can’t be hit and miss.”
In other Board news, the subject of the District employing illegal immigrants came up during the public comment portion, the part of the meeting when topics that are not on the agenda can be commented on by the public. Tony Dolt, a founding member of the Minutemen and a candidate for the State’s 41st Assembly District – which includes Santa Monica – stressed, “Border security and illegal immigration is a major concern to all Americans. According to the Federal government, one in 20 workers in the United States is an illegal alien. The estimate is much higher in California and even in higher in Los Angeles County.”
Dolt is concerned that the District may have illegal aliens that they are employing directly or through sub-contractors. He reminded the Board that they have “taken an oath” to abide by all state and federal laws and that it is “against the law to hire illegal aliens.”
Anaheim resident Bernard Carroll told the Board, “Jobs are the magnet for illegal immigration. If illegal immigration isn’t controlled it will lead to open borders. Then all Americans will be competing with all the other workers in the world for jobs in the United States. Yours isn’t the only community that’s facing this problem.”
Evelyn Miller, a member of the California Coalition for Immigration Reform, co-authors of Proposition 187, commented, “We know many people say illegal immigration is a federal issue, but it has come down to City Councils and School Boards.”
Due to the Brown Act, which mandates how government meetings are run, the Board could not discuss the issue. However, the new Deputy Superintendent stated in response to a question from Board Vice President Kathy Wisenicki on the District process for hiring employees, “Everyone in the District is fingerprinted, and a copy of those fingerprints are reviewed by the Department of Justice, and a background search is done prior to anyone beginning work in our District.”