Posted by Teacher, a resident of the The Greenhouse neighborhood, on Mar 1, 2008 at 11:08 pm
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.
Posted by Addison Mom, a member of the Addison School community, on Mar 2, 2008 at 11:31 am
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!
Posted by OhlonePar, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Mar 2, 2008 at 1:11 pm
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.
Posted by DowntownMom, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Mar 3, 2008 at 12:41 pm
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!
Posted by Addison Mom, a resident of the Professorville neighborhood, on Mar 3, 2008 at 2:13 pm
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.
Posted by Addison Mom, a resident of the Professorville neighborhood, on Mar 3, 2008 at 4:22 pm
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.
Posted by OhlonePar, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Mar 3, 2008 at 9:41 pm
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 . . .
Posted by Addison Mom, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Mar 5, 2008 at 4:09 pm
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.
Posted by C, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Mar 5, 2008 at 9:45 pm
"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!
Posted by Addison Dad, a member of the Addison School community, on Mar 6, 2008 at 4:12 pm
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?
Posted by Palo Alto Parent and Professional, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Mar 6, 2008 at 8:43 pm
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.
Posted by jordan dad, a member of the Addison School community, on Mar 6, 2008 at 9:23 pm
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.
Posted by A Jordan Mother, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Mar 6, 2008 at 10:31 pm
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!
Posted by Member, a resident of the Barron Park neighborhood, on Mar 7, 2008 at 8:05 am
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!
Posted by jordan parent-to-be, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Mar 7, 2008 at 9:16 am
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.
Posted by ElementaryMom, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Mar 10, 2008 at 6:01 pm
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.
Posted by supporting John Lents for Jordan, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Mar 11, 2008 at 10:47 pm
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!
Posted by Addison parent, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Mar 17, 2008 at 7:48 pm
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.
Posted by Censorship Lives, a member of the Addison School community, on Mar 19, 2008 at 9:05 pm
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?
Posted by palo alto mom, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Mar 20, 2008 at 8:26 am
Bob's comment was hateful, disrespectful, used profanity, was abusive and a personal attack on an non-public figure.
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Posted by OhlonePar, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Mar 20, 2008 at 8:48 pm
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.
Posted by former Addison parent, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Jan 22, 2011 at 12:40 am
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.