More leadership shakeups are on the way for the Palo Alto Unified School District, with its chief student services officer and a second middle school principal leaving their posts at the end of the school year.
Chief Student Services Officer Holly Wade will be exiting the district, Superintendent Max McGee confirmed Friday, and Terman Middle School Principal Pier Angeli La Place has requested to be reassigned elsewhere in the district, she announced in a message to parents and staff on Friday.
Wade has held the position since 2015, when she was promoted from director of special education. She was hired by the district in 2010 from the Los Gatos-Saratoga Union High School District, where she held the same role.
Wade did not return a request for comment.
As part of proposed budget-saving measures the school board will discuss Tuesday, McGee is recommending that Wade's position be consolidated with the vacant associate superintendent role (most recently held by Markus Autrey, who left mid-year) into a new chief academic officer position for the high schools.
Consolidating the two positions would save the district about $118,000.
With the addition of a third chief academic officer, the current secondary schools chief academic officer, Sharon Ofek, would only oversee the three middle schools, McGee said. She would also manage the district's central attendance office.
The high school chief academic officer would report directly to McGee and be tasked with overseeing curriculum, instruction, assessment, professional development and other areas for Gunn and Palo Alto high schools. Student wellness and support services would also fall under his or her umbrella.
McGee said the new hire would also take over Wade's role as the district's Uniform Complaint Procedure (UCP) officer, charged with managing complaints of discrimination based on a protected class, such as race, gender or disability.
A to-be-hired replacement for the district's assistant superintendent for human resources, Scott Bowers, who is retiring at the end of the year, will oversee complaints related to federal anti-discrimination law Title IX, McGee said.
An online job description advertises a starting salary of $186,615 to $205,988 (plus a stipend if the person has a master's or doctorate degree) for the high school chief academic officer.
Terman principal requests reassignment
LaPlace, who has been a teacher and administrator in the school district for more than 20 years, wrote to her staff and to families on Friday that she has "requested a reassignment to embark on a new challenge with PAUSD."
LaPlace was named Terman's principal four years ago. Previously, she had served as an assistant principal and a teacher at JLS Middle School.
Her message notes specific work accomplished during her tenure, from the addition of co-teaching and various student-inclusion efforts to the implementation of the Common Core State Standards and an increase in students' access to educational technology.
"I am proud of all that we have achieved as a team, in part due to school leadership that reorganized and prioritized funding to provide continuous support for staff professional learning and collaboration and decision-making that consistently emphasizes equitable education for all of our students, as well as greater access and opportunity for our special-education students and students across the gender spectrum and within our LGBTQQ community," she wrote.
La Place did not immediately return a request for comment.
The principal of Jordan Middle School, Katie Kinnaman, also recently announced that she will be leaving the district at the end of the school year.
The district is also searching for a new special education director after Wade's successor, Chiara Perry, resigned mid-year to take the same job in the Campbell Union School District.
Under McGee's proposed organizational chart, the three chief academic officers, special-education administrator, chief budget officer, chief technology officer and assistant superintendent for human resources would report directly to him.