Almanac

Schools - April 24, 2013

Board appoints two new members

by Renee Batti

An administrator at the private Woodside Priory school and a former high-tech executive have been appointed to the Portola Valley School District board to replace board members who resigned this month.

The two new members are Caitha Calvello Ambler, the Priory dean of middle school who also has taught at the private school and in the Vallejo School District; and Karen Ann Tate, a former executive at two software companies and a former strategic consultant.

The women were among five candidates considered for appointment by the school board at a special April 16 meeting. They replace Scott Parker, who also was a dean at the Priory before resigning to take a position in Sonoma, and Ray Villareal, who cited a busy work-related travel schedule in his April 5 resignation letter.

The new members were appointed by a 3-0 board vote. The three other candidates were Matt Richter, Terry Lee and Richard Murphy.

The terms were due to expire at the end of the year, and if the two new members want to retain their seats, they must stand for election in November.

Ms. Tate and Ms. Ambler took their seats alongside President Jocelyn Swisher and members Bill Youstra and Linda Wong at the board's regular meeting on April 17.

In her application for the post, Ms. Ambler said her interests include innovation in the classroom, project-based learning, collaboration, student-centered learning, the shifting role of teachers, homework balance, meaningful integration of technology, and teaching children how to be responsible citizens, both in person and online.

Referring to the district's recent overspending resulting from former superintendent Tim Hanretty's deceptive bookkeeping, Ms. Ambler noted that prioritizing and raising funds are important board goals, adding that she has been involved in both areas at the Priory.

She has a son in kindergarten at Ormondale.

Ms. Tate has been active in the district as a classroom volunteer, and as a founder and member of the "Innovation in Education" committee, which is "focused on raising awareness and creating deeper understanding of innovations in K-8 education in support of the district's strategic planning effort," according to the district's website.

Among the areas she wants to focus on, according to her application for the board position, she lists strengthening the district's finances, including building back the reserves depleted under Mr. Hanretty's financial oversight; embracing a "culture of experimentation and continual innovation while ensuring we maintain the richness, academic excellence and quality of educational opportunities of our community-based schools; and hiring and/or developing "great leaders and mentors" in the district.

Ms. Tate has a third-grader and a kindergartener at Ormondale.

Comments

There are no comments yet for this post

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Choose a category: *

Since this is the first comment on this story a new topic will also be started in Town Square! Please choose a category that best describes this story.

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields