Woodside Elementary adds new principals


Beth Polito, hired by the one-school Woodside Elementary School District three years ago as its superintendent as well as its principal, will have one less role to juggle this year.

Superintendent Polito has now taken principal off her title. This summer the school's governing board approved promoting Steve Frank from assistant principal to principal of Woodside's grade 6-8 middle school, and the hiring of Pam Duarte as principal of transitional kindergarten to fifth grade at the school.

Woodside Elementary has 440 students from transitional kindergarten to eighth grade.

Ms. Polito was given a new contract by the district this year, noting the change in title but with no change in salary from the contract approved by the board last year. Her salary this year will be $203,262.52. The new contract goes through 2017 and includes a minimum 3 percent increase each year.

Mr. Frank is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, with a master's degree in educational administration from Santa Clara University. He was a Woodside middle school social studies teacher for nine years and has been an assistant principal for five years. In addition to his middle school duties, Mr. Frank will continue to oversee school safety and assessments for the entire school.

Ms. Duarte is from the Cupertino Union School District, where she had worked for 23 years in numerous roles, most recently as a kindergarten to grade 5 assistant principal. She has a bachelor's degree from Bethany College, a master's degree from Santa Clara University, and an administrative services credential from National University in San Jose.

Superintendent Polito said that Mr. Frank did not receive a raise with his new title and that Ms. Duarte will be paid a $120,235 salary prorated to 11 months, plus benefits, for a total cost to the district for the additional administrator in 2014-2015 of $140,605.

"I feel like everyone's going to get the attention they deserve — the teachers, the students, the families," Ms. Polito said. "We were just spread way too thin."

Other administrators at Woodside include Robin Wasco, chief business official, and Katherine Peterson, student services director.

The district's new organization chart is here in a PDF document.


4 people like this
Posted by Interesting
a resident of Woodside: other
on Sep 5, 2014 at 8:17 am

One campus with 440 students now has 1 superintendent and 2 new principals! What has changed so much that warrants this new administrative expense in a small one-campus school? Are the responsibilities now realized to be too much for the new superintendent who received a large salary increase last year, whereas they weren't before? Here is the new Woodside administration: Web Link. Tax and foundation resources were and will be spent on new administration costs rather than investments in teachers, capital improvements, or new student programs. Check the salary increase for the new superintendent last year (not reported here). I wonder how much teachers salaries are going to increase vis-à-vis the total new administrative salaries over the past year or so. At least they didn't give Steve a raise or hire a new assistant principal... yet.

Like this comment
Posted by Citizen
a resident of Woodside: Mountain Home Road
on Feb 27, 2015 at 9:37 pm

What is interesting is that you talk as if you know Mr. Frank. If you did you would realize he is the best thing that school has going for it.

Like this comment
Posted by Citizen
a resident of Woodside: Woodside Glens
on Feb 12, 2016 at 8:48 pm

Yep. Mr. Frank is the heart and soul of that entire school. He is the only administrator who is invested in the community. Have a clue before you post.

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