Almanac

Schools - February 13, 2013

Scott Parker resigns from Portola Valley school board

by Renee Batti

Scott Parker has announced his resignation from the Portola Valley School District board, which he has served on since 2009.

Mr. Parker and his family will be moving this summer, and he decided to step down from the board in April, Superintendent Carol Piraino said in a written announcement Feb. 8.

Mr. Parker said in an email that he is moving to Sonoma, where he will be head of school at Presentation School.

Ms. Piraino said she will suggest a process and timeline for replacing Mr. Parker on the board at the board's Feb. 13 meeting.

Mr. Parker was president of the board in 2012 — perhaps the district's most tumultuous time. He and fellow board members faced a stunned and angry community at a series of meetings after the resignation of then-superintendent Tim Hanretty, who later pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $100,000 from the district and, according to audits performed after his departure, left the district's financial books and situation in disarray.

"I would like to thank Scott for his remarkable service to the Board of Trustees in Portola Valley," Ms. Piraino wrote. "It was just a year ago today that Scott and I (mostly Scott) responded to a pretty angry crowd" gathered to learn more about the Hanretty matter, she wrote.

"I learned a great deal from him that day (and other days) about how to handle a really tough situation with grace and dignity."

In his email to the Almanac, Mr. Parker wrote: "It has been an honor to serve. Nothing more to say than what I have always said: that this is an exceptional school district and every family is Portola Valley is uniquely privileged to attend such distinguished schools.

"I have been especially struck by the incredible dedication and countless hours of work being offered by the board. They have been exceptionally patient and generous with their gifts and time. The generosity of the Portola Valley community is also something to behold. Education is a top priority and something that the town supports, again and again, with its time and treasure.

"Carol Piraino is also a very rare opportunity: smart as a whip and capable of taking the district much further."

Mr. Parker was appointed to the board in October 2009 to fill a vacancy left when only two candidates filed to run for the three available seats in the fall election that year. The board canceled the election due to the lack of a contest, and opted to seek applicants to fill the third seat for a four-year term. Mr. Parker, who is the dean of students at the private Woodside Priory in Portola Valley, was one of three applicants.

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