Carol Piraino, who picked up the reins at the Portola Valley School District last year in the wake of her predecessor's abrupt resignation while under investigation for financial irregularities, has announced she will resign as superintendent at the end of the school year.
Ms. Piraino will be leaving her post only one year into her two-year contract. She could not be reached for comment.
In a written statement announcing the resignation, school board president Jocelyn Swisher said Ms. Piraino "is interested in pursuing new professional challenges in the field of education." The superintendent "has shared with the board that she believes the district is now well-positioned for a new leader to take the helm," Ms. Swisher wrote.
In a statement included in the district's weekly online post, Ms. Piraino said she is committed to completing several projects before she leaves the district. "These include working with the interview panel and board to select an outstanding new principal for Ormondale School; working with the Strategic Plan Steering Committee, community, and board to finalize a dynamic, forward-thinking strategic plan; and working with (finance officer) Sandra Lepley and the board to create a balanced, fiscally sound 2013-14 budget."
The district is working with the Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates firm to manage the search for a new superintendent, Ms. Swisher said. The firm will outline the process at the board's May 8 meeting, which begins at 6 p.m. in the Corte Madera School room 102, at 4575 Alpine Road in Portola Valley.
A community forum on the superintendent search is set for 7 p.m. Monday, May 13. The district is also seeking comments through an online survey that will be available beginning May 10.
Ms. Piraino served as the district's assistant superintendent until early 2012, when she was appointed interim superintendent to take over from then-superintendent Tim Hanretty. Mr. Hanretty resigned from the post in January 2012 after an investigation was launched into financial irregularities uncovered in the Woodside School District from the time Mr. Hanretty served as that district's finance officer.
After the Woodside district and the county District Attorney's Office began that investigation, the Portola Valley district audited its books, and what unfolded led to Mr. Hanretty's admission that he had embezzled more than $100,000 from the district.
In June 2012, several months before Mr. Hanretty pleaded no contest to embezzlement and other charges, Ms. Piraino signed a two-year contract to take over the top post.
Prior to being named assistant superintendent in mid-2010, Ms. Piraino served for two years as Corte Madera School principal.