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Community briefs: Longtime Atherton officer retires; Sequoia district superintendent applications due soon; Menlo Park to hold community meetings on finances

Longtime Atherton officer retires

Atherton police Cmdr. Joe Wade. Courtesy Atherton Police Department.

After 22 years with the Atherton Police Department, Cmdr. Joe Wade will officially be retiring on March 16, according to a town email.

During his time with the department, he served as a patrol officer, school resource officer, SWAT team member, gang task force member, defensive tactics instructor, detective, patrol sergeant, detective sergeant, lieutenant, commander, emergency operations manager, public information officer and acting chief.

Wade will continue to serve the local law enforcement community during retirement as an Academy Police Recruit defensive tactics instructor.

Sequoia superintendent application deadline

Applications are due Feb. 26 at 5 p.m. for the top job in the Sequoia Union High School District.

Former superintendent Mary Streshly stepped down in September after the teachers union and 22 principals and top administrators called for her firing. Former Assistant Superintendent Crystal Leach is filling in as interim superintendent until the board hires a replacement.

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Local leaders, including East Palo Alto Councilman Antonio Lopez, have called out the lack of diversity in Sequoia district leadership. Lopez recently helped form an ad hoc committee to address the issue (in response to the district's unwillingness to form an official ad hoc committee to address these issues, according to a Feb. 10 press release from Lopez). During a Feb. 12 committee meeting, members said they'd like the group to focus on potentially helping with the hiring of a new superintendent.

Candidate interviews are scheduled for the end of March.

For more information, or to apply, go here.

Menlo Park school district hosts community meetings

The Menlo Park City School District will hold community meetings on Zoom this month to discuss an upcoming parcel tax measure that its school board placed on the November ballot.

The input sessions are intended to help inform the board's decisions around cost savings and the replacement parcel tax, according to a Feb. 11 district press release.

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The first meeting is Feb. 22 from 7 to 8 p.m, while the second is Feb. 25 from 10 to 11 a.m.

In January, the school board decided to place a parcel tax on the November ballot to replace Measure X, which has provided four years of revenue to the district. When Measure X passed, it was part of the board's plan to create a four-year runway of stability while it pursued options for longer term financial sustainability.

"The board seeks to provide the district with a measured and sustainable financial path as it practices student-centered stewardship that achieves efficiency without sacrificing quality," the press release states.

As the district considers its financial future, the board is currently in conversation about $1.5 million to $2 million in possible cuts to its budget, according to the press release. The district is considering cutting overall administrative roles at the district level; modifying the music, drama and world language programs; "combination classes;" and making cuts to classified positions. A full list of proposed reductions is available in the Feb. 11 board meeting packet.

Parcel taxes and philanthropic giving together make up approximately 25% of the district's budget.

RSVP for the upcoming meetings on the district's new community engagement page here.

A volunteer committee is also forming to support the parcel tax campaign. Those interested in joining the Friends of Menlo Park Schools Committee are asked to complete a form here.

For more information, email Parke Treadway, the district's public information officer, at [email protected]

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Community briefs: Longtime Atherton officer retires; Sequoia district superintendent applications due soon; Menlo Park to hold community meetings on finances

by / Almanac

Uploaded: Fri, Feb 19, 2021, 11:54 am

After 22 years with the Atherton Police Department, Cmdr. Joe Wade will officially be retiring on March 16, according to a town email.

During his time with the department, he served as a patrol officer, school resource officer, SWAT team member, gang task force member, defensive tactics instructor, detective, patrol sergeant, detective sergeant, lieutenant, commander, emergency operations manager, public information officer and acting chief.

Wade will continue to serve the local law enforcement community during retirement as an Academy Police Recruit defensive tactics instructor.

Applications are due Feb. 26 at 5 p.m. for the top job in the Sequoia Union High School District.

Former superintendent Mary Streshly stepped down in September after the teachers union and 22 principals and top administrators called for her firing. Former Assistant Superintendent Crystal Leach is filling in as interim superintendent until the board hires a replacement.

Local leaders, including East Palo Alto Councilman Antonio Lopez, have called out the lack of diversity in Sequoia district leadership. Lopez recently helped form an ad hoc committee to address the issue (in response to the district's unwillingness to form an official ad hoc committee to address these issues, according to a Feb. 10 press release from Lopez). During a Feb. 12 committee meeting, members said they'd like the group to focus on potentially helping with the hiring of a new superintendent.

Candidate interviews are scheduled for the end of March.

For more information, or to apply, go here.

The Menlo Park City School District will hold community meetings on Zoom this month to discuss an upcoming parcel tax measure that its school board placed on the November ballot.

The input sessions are intended to help inform the board's decisions around cost savings and the replacement parcel tax, according to a Feb. 11 district press release.

The first meeting is Feb. 22 from 7 to 8 p.m, while the second is Feb. 25 from 10 to 11 a.m.

In January, the school board decided to place a parcel tax on the November ballot to replace Measure X, which has provided four years of revenue to the district. When Measure X passed, it was part of the board's plan to create a four-year runway of stability while it pursued options for longer term financial sustainability.

"The board seeks to provide the district with a measured and sustainable financial path as it practices student-centered stewardship that achieves efficiency without sacrificing quality," the press release states.

As the district considers its financial future, the board is currently in conversation about $1.5 million to $2 million in possible cuts to its budget, according to the press release. The district is considering cutting overall administrative roles at the district level; modifying the music, drama and world language programs; "combination classes;" and making cuts to classified positions. A full list of proposed reductions is available in the Feb. 11 board meeting packet.

Parcel taxes and philanthropic giving together make up approximately 25% of the district's budget.

RSVP for the upcoming meetings on the district's new community engagement page here.

A volunteer committee is also forming to support the parcel tax campaign. Those interested in joining the Friends of Menlo Park Schools Committee are asked to complete a form here.

For more information, email Parke Treadway, the district's public information officer, at [email protected]

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