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Original post made
by Jordan Dad, College Terrace,
on Mar 1, 2008
As far as I know, the interview process for potential candidates has not even begun, although John Lents might be a good choice if he has applied. I have heard good things about him.
I just checked the job posting on the PAUSD website. There are two administrative positions, for an elementary principal and a middle school principal. Application deadline is March 7. Web Link
Anyone know which elementary school is looking for a new principal?
I just answered my own question -- it's Nixon.
I have heard really mixed things about the Addison Principal.
The application process doesn't close for another week. The applications are then reviewed. The interviewing panel then will meet the candidates. A 2nd and possibly 3rd round with the Supe is next after that. I assume this process will end prior to Spring Break if everything goes well.
I have no inside knowledge. This is just what I've experienced from past hirings.
John Lents is a good guy. I'd be surprised to see him leave Addison though. That said, PAUSD, more often than not, has a candidate in mind prior to the application process. Usually, it's just going through the motions. Sometimes, the interviewing team puts forth two candidates and the powers-that-be will select who they wanted all along. So it's definitely possible... I'd just be surprised.
This is actually common in many school districts.
He is not such a good guy according to people involved at Addison- dig deeper and you hear alot of negative comments.
I have 2 kids at Addison and I have been very pleased with Mr. Lents as a principal. He is well liked by the staff, great with the kids, good at communicating and an intelligent man. Although I would be sad to see him go - I'd be delighted to have him at Jordan when my kids are there. From what I hear, Jordan could use him!
I think John Lents is a decent guy and I think he cares a lot about kids. He's not real exciting as an administrator. I think some of the negative stuff arose out of things that had nothing to do with job performance or his interactions with the community. I think he was aboveboard about some very difficult things.
After having 2 kids go through Addison, I have absolutely nothing but ENORMOUS respect & admiration for John Lents. There is no one with more intelligence, genuine concern & innate caring for children, & their families, than Mr. Lents. He has been in Palo Alto long enough to really grasp the particular community here, yet coming from "back East," also has a very objective and free perspective on PAUSD. I am positive that Addison will not want to lose him, but on the other hand, Jordan has been far less than par for quite some time. I can not imagine anyone better suited to improve the situation(s) @ Jordan than John Lents. Jordan would be so lucky to get him!
Why did the previous Jordan principal leave? Better opportunity elsewhere?
I believe it was for "personal reasons"
John Lents is one of the most polarizing people I have ever met. You are either with him or against him. Not what Jordan needs. He does have a fan club, but not everyone is in it.
I don't find John polarizing at all, but he is a strong leader and it is his school. Things should and will get run his way, which is generally a good way, in the best interests of the kids. Not every parent will agree with his every decision.
Most of the parents I know who don't like him either have kids who are troublemakers/bullies, are parents who don't believe that the playground is as important a learning experience as a classroom or are parents who forget that the PTA doesn't run the school.
He has assembled a strong staff who like him, he communicates well with the students and parents, he has helped keep Addison a great community. His students go on to support each other thru middle and high school.
Jordan would be lucky to have him.
"Most of the parents I know who don't like him either have kids who are troublemakers/bullies"
I like the sound of that, given what is being posted on the bullying thread.
"He has assembled a strong staff who like him"
Also great news.
He talks a good talk, but when push comes to shove sides with the bullies. I believe that John Lents has fooled many at the school. Those involved in PTA tell a different story.
Dear other Addison mom -
As I said earlier, the PTA doesn't run the school, PTA volunteers don't always get their way, this can make people unhappy. Mr. Lents doesn't side with bullies - even when they are parents. The bullying problem at Addison is tiny compared with other schools.
As an active volunteer for years, some of us involved in the PTA actually think he's terrific.
Addison Mom and Addison Mom,
Any chance of you guys adding a letter or something just to distinguish yourselves from one another. I'm interested in both your views, but I can just feel myself veering into terminal Addison Mom confusion . . .
I'm not clear here -- what's the beef that exists between Addison's principal and its PTA?
As far as I know, there isn't a problem with the PTA and Mr. Lents. However, there have been people over the years who disagree with how the PTA money gets spent.
Here is my opinion of Mr. Lents (for better or worse).
He has pulled together an incredible team of teachers at Addison. Most of the teachers are excellent. Some are average. I think you will get this at any school, especially when there is tenure.
I am impressed that Mr. Lents knows every child by name. Incredible that the school Principal knows every child.
I am not impressed with the way he handles the parents. He really does not want parent involvement or input. Again, for better or worse, that is the way he runs the school.
He will always side with the Teacher. In some cases, this was handled very poorly.
I have heard mix feedback from the teachers. Some like working with him, some do not.
At the end of the day, the school is well run. The kids are happy and learning and most of all, respectful. It is a wonderful community of families and staff. I am sure Mr. Lents has a lot to do with that... so I give credit, where credit is due.
"He really does not want parent involvement or input."
"He will always side with the Teacher."
I find it truly impossible to believe that you are an Addison Mom! Your 2 statements are so polar opposite from my experience, as well as everyone else I know from the school, that it seems impossible we could be discussing the same person. The plain truth is that Mr. Lents ALWAYS take the time to hear completely what all involved parties have to say, & ALWAYS makes an unbiased, professional decision.
I think that every parent @ Addison know that his heart is always in the right place, no small feat when you really stop to think about it. And I must also agree with those people praising Mr. Lents for his intelligence, caring, openess, & competence in a very demanding position. It should go without saying that no principal is going to get an A+ from every family. That would be impossible. But take a long look @ Addison, probably the best elementary school in town, & it will be unmistakeable that the principal is to be given credit for the great school that Addison is. Personally speaking, I would definitely not want Mr. Lents to leave!
Would you like it if neighbors started rumors about your next job application?
[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]
Please explain to me what possible reason you have for removing my earlier post. There is absolutely nothing I wrote that is any less supported than the glowing endorsements of John Lents above. Nor was anything I wrote offensive. It simply pointed out specific things that I have personally experienced with respect to his judgment and abilities. Has the Palo Alto Online decided to take a position on the appropriateness of Mr. Lents as principal of Jordan Middle School?
I believe that it is important to note that the affluent Palo Alto community has some of the most challenging parents that any administrator and teacher will ever encounter or have to manage. Would you like to job? We are known as helicopter parents….and when we do not like the information that the professional educators and administrators share, we are good at pointing blame; remember four fingers are pointing back ☺ Is it appropriate to publicly dissect one of our professionals on a blog? What if it was you? As citizens, we should trust the district's process….and if you do not trust or are not satisfied with how PAUSD hires its educators, maybe one should think about a private school….We are extremely fortunate to have professionals such as Mr. Lents in our school district. Look at some of the surrounding school districts….then reflect on how fortunate we are.
What a sad set of comments. John has always created polarization, as is reflected in the above atatemanets, in order to distract parents from his limited skills as a principal. As a Dad with two shy girls and no PTA experience, I feel his ability to be a leader and diplomat is hindered by his insecurity. It is a shame with so much talent in Silicon Valley, that we can't attract a charismatic and dynamic princil\pal. I know they exist.
Although none of my kids went to Addison, both of my best friends' kids did. There were so many times we considered moving - just to be in the Addison district. What we heard, & actually saw ourselves on a few occasions, left no doubt in our minds that Addison was the top elementary PAUSD school. And it was so due to John Lents.
I find it telling that the people writing positive comments re: Lents give clear statements, with obvious personal experience. Those parents leaving inflammatory, gossip based comments are not leaving any true life examples. WIthout a doubt, punitive & anger filled statements with purpose other vengeful diatribes.
My friends & I are thrilled to think John Lents would take on the challenge of Jordan. If anyone can do it well, John Lents is the man!
I find it a bit off putting all this discussion of ADDISON being the best school in PA. That is telling of the folks that go there.
There are many great schools, and hopefully many qualified people too do the job of principal. Sounds like Mr Lents does not unify his community, not what Jordan or any school needs. But spare me ADDISON people, you are not better than the rest of us.
I hope that the PAUSD searches for someone that can bring a new vision, and creativity to the schools.
Addison- you are not superior, but keep fooling yourselves!
Yes, Addison, where all the kids are above average! To each their own, I suppose.
Sounds as if a lot of the theatre people are Addison people too!!
I've just read thru this thread and it seems like most people think John Lents is a good person who runs a good school. No where does anyone say Addison kids are smarter or superior. If Addison parents think Addison is the best school - isn't that a good thing? Don't you want all PAUSD parents to think their child's school is the best? Given the usually negative nature of this forum, so many nice comments are amazing to me. I hope he does end up at Jordan.
Hearing everything I've heard about John Lents (and the environment at Addison) makes me really happy we don't live in that school zone. Palo Alto is more than just 1 or 2 two. We are very pleased with our hidden gem.
Our kids all went through Ohlone, & did well. Not perfect, but then no place is perfect for everyone. We also heard great things about John Lents & Addison, & so I was interested to see this thread. It is sad to see such vicious things being said about a public figure, without the courage to post your name.
And coming in on this as a non-Addison parent, I sense that overall Lents is obviously doing an excellent job. That a few whiners & attackers would start sniping is to be expected, especially in this town. I'd bet a month of lattes that those attacks are from a parent ( or 2) whose feet were appropriately held to the fire. In fact, after reading this thread, I'm all for Lents moving into Jordan. Lord knows that could use him there!
Those of us at Jordan can just hope he really does apply for the job!
To say that John Lents is doing a great job and is well-liked by all Addison parents is inaccurate. Most Addison parents that I know have mixed feelings about him, and many dislike him very much. Clearly he has his supporters, but you will find many very vocal critics.
Obviously not an Addison parent either, but since this thread started, I've been hearing some more mixed things about him, so I think there probably is a real split at the school.
But that's not surprising in Palo Alto, is it.? <g> Addison's faced some of the issues the other schools have faced--huge overcrowding with the kindergarten a couple of years back.
Hmmm, okay, Bob's comment's been up there for 14 minutes--wonder if it will make it to an hour?
Does put some of the subtext right out there, though . . .
Wow. It is one thing to remove a comment and actually state that you have done so. It is another thing altogether to remove a comment as if it had never been made. Where is Bob's comment. Is it really the Palo Alto Online's policy to revise history?
Bob's comment was hateful, disrespectful, used profanity, was abusive and a personal attack on an non-public figure.
* You agree to be respectful of others, be truthful and be solely responsible for all postings you make.
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I'd say Bob's comment was an obscene attack on someone's private life--though the person in question has been open about it. It's stuff that's not at all germane to professional performance, though I think it's at the root at some of the controversy.
oh...reading between the lines, if what I believe was said about Lents was said, then I am all FOR Lents as principal for Jordan or any of out schools. That kind of hate has to stop....
When is everyone going to learn that the backlash to hate does exactly the opposite of what the haters want???
my kid went to addison and i had a great relationship with john. he is funny, comes into classrooms, and will listen to what you have to say
What about who is replacing Don Cox over there at JLS? We think he is a great principal, and he has just announced his retirement :0(
Don was nowhere near as good a principal as Joe di Salvo.
mr lents is a decent principal who calls me by my brother's name all the time
I'm sure the stories of all the people who had good experiences with John Lents are true. I'm sure the stories of the people who had mixed or bad experiences with him are also true. I know because I had mixed experiences with him, including some that were very bad. I can't say what they were because then my post will be removed. I will say that when I accurately described the problems to staff at other schools, asking if I had done anything wrong, I was told that I all my actions were appropriate and that I used good judgment. They said John's actions were not appropriate and showed poor judgment, and that he received consequences that are confidential. Yes, I really am talking about the same person here, which was just as shocking to me to experience as it is for others to read about.
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