News

Staffing shake-up at Bullis Charter School

Founding superintendent, school administrator depart their positions

Bullis Charter School's board of directors quietly agreed over the summer to transition its longest serving administrator -- founding superintendent Wanny Hersey -- to a new position overseeing "strategic initiatives."

The change is part of a staffing shake-up that includes the hiring of a new interim superintendent on Aug. 5 and the departure of longtime administrator Jennifer Anderson-Rosse. A worldwide search is planned for a permanent replacement for Hersey, according to Bullis board president Joe Hurd.

In an email sent only to Bullis families and school community members on July 25, charter school officials announced that Hersey would be moving to a new role that would focus on ways to "share BCS' program locally, nationally and internationally," along with creating professional development opportunities for teachers. Hersey was picked to lead the charter school 16 years ago during the founding of Bullis, first as a principal and later as a superintendent.

"Wanny's work will be integral to the future of BCS, and she will continue to report to the BCS Board," according to the announcement. "Though Wanny will be transitioning out of day-to-day school operations, we are thrilled she will still be helping the school in strategic and important ways."

Hersey's new job includes working with the Santa Clara County Office of Education and other nonspecific "multilateral" partners and sharing educational best practices developed by the charter school, Hurd said.

Replacing Hersey is Brian Kohn, who began his new role as interim superintendent for the 2019-20 school year on July 29. The plan is to launch the search for a permanent replacement for Hersey next month, according to Hurd.

The leadership changes appeared on the board of directors' Aug. 5 agenda, which included the approval of an interim superintendent contract and closed-session discussion on the founding superintendent. Speaking to the Voice, Hurd dismissed the need to formally make a public announcement about the changes, and said the people who need to know about the leadership changes already know.

"It's not a big deal to the community," he said. "You may want to make it into a big deal."

Though Hersey has led day-to-day operations at Bullis since its founding, Hurd said Bullis Charter School has had interim staff fill in her Hersey in the past. She went on sabbatical as recently as 18 months ago.

Anderson-Rosse, who worked at Bullis as a teacher for five years before becoming an administrator in 2014, also appears to have exited her role at the charter school. Although still listed as staff on Bullis' website, her LinkedIn profile shows she began a new role last month in another Bay Area district.

Anderson-Rosse spearheaded an effort earlier this year to create Bullis Mountain View, a second and mostly separate school from Bullis Charter School that sought to open a campus in the Mountain View Whisman School District. In early 2019, Anderson-Rosse told the Voice that most of her time was spent on the creation of the school rather than her administrative role at Bullis Charter School.

Bullis Mountain View's charter petition was approved by the Mountain View Whisman School District's board of trustees, but was later revoked before the school was scheduled to open its doors this month.

When asked about Anderson-Rosse's employment at Bullis Charter School, Hurd was cryptic, telling the Voice that her contract had expired but she had not been replaced.

Bullis Charter School, which is housed on public school campuses in Los Altos, serves students throughout Santa Clara County, with priority enrollment granted to students residing in the Los Altos School District. The district's sprawling boundaries encompass Los Altos and Los Altos Hills, a portion of Mountain View.

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Comments

4 people like this
Posted by James Thurber
a resident of Shoreline West
on Aug 14, 2019 at 4:40 pm

James Thurber is a registered user.

The thing which caught my eye was that Bullis Charter was going on a "world-wide search."

Is Bullis Charter truly going on a world wide search? The world is a pretty big place. With our outstanding local universities I would suspect that the person Bullis Charter needs is probably right in our own backyard.

Best of luck on the search folks.


17 people like this
Posted by Fed Up LASD Parent
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 14, 2019 at 6:01 pm

And now Los Altos has to get rid of Jeff Baer. Bullis became a monster under his watch, and the school district has lost big. Why is he even still there?


8 people like this
Posted by ST parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Aug 14, 2019 at 10:26 pm

ST parent is a registered user.

That seems like a potential step in the right direction and perhaps good news for the MVWSD as well.

I tried several times to educate Jennifer Anderson-Rosse about our MVWSD district and get her and her minions not to treat MVWSD like it was Los Altos and instead come in and really get to know us and gain buy-in from the whole community BEFORE trying to force a charter school (and that not-credible "charter" they wrote) down our throats.

Unfortunately, whoever Jennifer Anderson-Rosse was getting advice from was all about fighting a war against an enemy with no ethics and always assuming the worst of everyone but the Bullis faithful. That's not leadership, Jennifer Anderson-Rosse!

I was fully open-minded to the idea of a charter school, even though they wanted to place it next to Stevenson (which I think is the wrong location), etc.
I liked their educational methods, but not the behavior of their leadership.

What we don't yet know is what Bullis, under new leadership, may do in relation to MVWSD. Maybe Bullis has learned it's lesson and they will come back with a reasonable and credible charter document. Maybe they will actually spend the time to get to know our families and our district staff and our Board.

Maybe Bullis Mountain View will happen some day, but certainly NEVER by the methods Jennifer Anderson-Rosse tried to use last time!

A lot of time/effort/money was wasted in a rushed and paranoid fight that never needed to happen.


4 people like this
Posted by LASD poseur
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 14, 2019 at 10:34 pm

LASD poseur is a registered user.

this person calling themselves ‘LASD Parent’ is clearly shilling for Bullis, who was a nightmare long before Baier got his job, and this conflict is a school board issue anyway, not an admin issue. Don’t take your anger over Hersey’s firing out on anyone but your unelected board. What a poseur


3 people like this
Posted by Just saying
a resident of Waverly Park
on Aug 15, 2019 at 4:49 am

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


1 person likes this
Posted by Correction
a resident of Waverly Park
on Aug 15, 2019 at 4:58 am

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


9 people like this
Posted by LASD Parent
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 15, 2019 at 8:03 am

Bullis doubled in size under Baers watch and Los Altos shrunk. The administration before at least put up a fight. But I suppose Lasd poseur has no actual facts just fluff.


4 people like this
Posted by AlbertS
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 15, 2019 at 8:21 am

AlbertS is a registered user.

any long time observer of the charter school knows that it has grown strongly with a distinct ethnic slant such that it looks very different than MT view or Los Altos schools now. it is embarrassing that we now have an achievement gap to close in our public schools and a segregation gap to close at our charter school


6 people like this
Posted by comet48
a resident of another community
on Aug 15, 2019 at 8:48 am

Over time, the best performing schools will win out. A child's education is always paramount to parents. LASD can't defy gravity. It's a minority its own district now, with more that half the LASD eligible students attending BCS or private schools. LASD now caters to students whose parents can't afford private school or who missed out on the BCS lottery!


3 people like this
Posted by Exactly
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 15, 2019 at 8:58 am

Exactly is a registered user.

Well said Comet. We have greatly enjoyed Bullis because our son learns with students who could afford private school if necessary but won the lottery


6 people like this
Posted by Not News
a resident of another community
on Aug 15, 2019 at 9:14 am

The only thing ‘newsworthy’ here is the long tenure of these professionals prior to these transitions. How many schools in LASD or MVWSD have enjoyed strong, continuous leadership for 16 years?


2 people like this
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 15, 2019 at 3:04 pm

I believe/know Kenvin is human. The EDITOR makes the text for headlines / not the reporters! (grammar error)

Hurd is the one who seems rather dismissive (I believe Kevin's quotation marks, and the 'tone of voice' he implied).

Hurd, as Board President, probably negotiated this deal. Probably discussed sometime, in the past, in Closed Session under a 'review performance of' general blah, blah, blah. And, like Lambert as President of MVWSD negotiating settlement with Goldman, later discussed with full Board (Closed Session), BCS Board President Hurd could negotiate most of this, by himself, and then bring it to his Board under Closed Session in a Regular Meeting. All rather legal. (and of course TOTALLY OPAQUE!) [timing of services-without-contract?]


15 people like this
Posted by Another LASD Parent
a resident of another community
on Aug 15, 2019 at 3:39 pm

Baer absolutely deserves some blame for the current state of affairs. There are a lot of things he could have done to combat the growth of BCS and he did nothing. Instead of competing for every student, LASD actually instituted a lot of terrible policies that drove families to BCS. Now we are going to lose Egan as a result. His tenure has been a complete disaster.


13 people like this
Posted by A Tired Parent
a resident of another community
on Aug 15, 2019 at 5:34 pm

One of the reasons that BCS keeps on growing is attitude like LASD poseur who calls BCS a "nightmare". How is it a nightmare? Because it has a stellar reputation amongst parents? Because many parents who would otherwise choose private school choose BCS? Because it's so popular and increasingly so?

That kind of attitude shows that they don't care about "excellent" education and the right of parents to have a say in their children's education.

Instead, LASD would be better of acknowledging BCS's excellence and say something like "we also offer project-based education..." similar to BCS, and we also offer "....." which BCS doesn't.

It's really unfortunate that LASD trustees choose to preach hate and anger in an effort to "bully" the parents into choosing their neighborhood schools. It's not working, and they will continue to lose families to BCS.


9 people like this
Posted by Fed up LASD Parent
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 15, 2019 at 6:59 pm

You won't hear from Lasd posuer any more.totally owned. Jps9B Name another rich school district that is being taken over like Bullis has los Altos. Time for a change.


7 people like this
Posted by J
a resident of another community
on Aug 15, 2019 at 8:43 pm

Whoa, why are we throwing LASD under the bus? It is certainly not for people who either can’t afford private school or didn’t get into BCS.

I can afford private school and I never ever wanted to get into BCS (didn’t try and had a better chance coming into the district in a later grade). But I won’t knock it- whatever floats your boat, to each their own.

I will give a little credit to not knowing if Baer has done a perfect job. Nice man, made some mistakes. But the schools. The SCHOOLS, principals, teachers, students. You guys, they’re a world of their own. They aren’t “begging” kids to attend. They’re amazing. No matter your thoughts on BCS, Jennifer, Joe Hurd, our school district is awesome. You can’t deny that.


5 people like this
Posted by The Boy In The Bubble
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 15, 2019 at 10:54 pm

The Boy In The Bubble is a registered user.

It's so weird to read some of these pro-charter messages because their authors don't seem to see what the rest of the world sees. It appears to be a clear example of confirmation bias and motivated reasoning. Eli Pariser did a great TED Talk on these "filter bubbles," and I have to believe this BCS charter community lives inside of one, sort of like the Trumpian midwest states.


15 people like this
Posted by A Tired Parent
a resident of another community
on Aug 15, 2019 at 11:54 pm

It's the LASD trustees that live in a bubble. Asking normal LASD families to take sides in this anti/pro-charter debate is just crazy. Parents who don't have a professional interest (e.g., part of teachers union) or personal interest (e.g., want neighbors' kids to go the school their kids go to) in the matter...don't care. No parents in real life have ever talked to me about anti-charter/pro-charter issues. We don't care because we don't have the time to care. We are busy raising our children and shepherding them from activity to activity.

The LASD trustees have characterized the district schools as the "moral" choice - this simply doesn't work. It reminds me of being accosted in college and being told I should be a Christian because it's the "moral" choice. It makes many people want to run in the opposite direction.

Comparing "BCS charter community" to "Trumpian midwest states" couldn't be more ridiculous. More and more people moving to Los Altos are immigrants - far, far from the midwest.

And, I'm not sure what exactly is the "BCS charter community". Any current BCS parent can choose Egan/Blach for middle school or LASD district school for their second child.

We are all the same community. This characterizing of "BCS families" as "them" not only alienates BCS families, it also alienates LASD families who are friends/neighbors with them.

It's time for LASD to stop these divisive tactics. I don't know who's behind these tactics, but whoever it is should step aside and make room for new leadership.


2 people like this
Posted by Realism
a resident of another community
on Aug 16, 2019 at 1:10 am

It's not a question of superiority between BCS and LASD. It's not a question of the existence of one harming the other. This pessimism is all from fanatics who see the sky as falling forcing them to adopt wild war like attitudes. In truth it is very mundane with lots of facts to show that the overall environment has adapted well to the existence of Bullis Charter in LASD. How come people are so willing to ignore orthogonal facts which show that the fake emphasis on a war has distracted them from other important issues? Consider that the way LASD treats the 28% of its students who come from Mountain View is discriminatory? Don't look behind the curtain they say, the problem is Bullis. B.S. is what that is. Look at the weird set up used to assign half of the Mountain View LASD students. Is that defensible? Two issues:

(1) Egan Jr High is far more overcrowded and has terrible rundown facilities compared to Blach. Half the Mountain View students attend Blach and half Egan. The half in the Springer area get a vastly superior Jr High school campus and it's a smaller school with more personalized attention. All sorts of fancy building features are provided at Blach which was completely overhauled and has all purpose-built buildings with a capacity for 700 students though only serving 450 or so.

(2) For elementary school, half have a neighborhood school at Springer. But the other half are concentrated in a single quarter square mile area that is split into 3 subareas assigned to 3 different elementary schools where they are treated as Guests as none are even close to the area served for Mountain View students.


AND IDIOTS here yack about Bullis being the problem? Bullis treats the kids all equally and it has a proportionate number for both areas of Mountain View. It's a district-wide program and in this case the Mountain View kids all attend the same
Bullis location TOGETHER and it is the closest LASD site (measure from their homes) to have K-6 students.

And SELFISH people here yack about how terrible it would be to relocate Egan into the exact neighborhood that provides about 1/2 of the Egan students going forward? So that at least ONE of their schools during K-8 years will be INSIDE their neighborhood????


4 people like this
Posted by Ranting at 2am
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Aug 16, 2019 at 6:15 am

OMG! ^^^^^^
I simply cannot imagine someone was up ranting at 2am about Bullis, more specifically, at those who feel Bullis and those involved are pariahs in the larger community.
Living the dream I guess. Have a great weekend all. One day soon you can rant about high-school!!


4 people like this
Posted by Sam
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Aug 16, 2019 at 9:12 am

@ Tired Parent. Applause. Well said. It’s nice to hear that main stream parents aren’t invested in this silly, decades old feud begun by parents whose kids are now in college and have no connection to the current BCS families. BCS is an alternative choice. It doesn’t affect the LASD kids education in any way.

@Realism - I agre with most of what you say. However as far as the NEC kids not having a neighborhood school, the enrollment in that area is growing exponentially solely due to decisions made by MV city council. They continue to allow tech expansion within their city which fuels the need for more housing which fuels the massive increase in building leading to more kids enrolling in LASD. Los Altos had no input in those decisions yet they’re left holding the bag as far as educating all those kids. It doesn’t seem quite right that Los Altos needs to build them a new school and that Los Altos kids now need to go to middle school in MV because MV keeps building in that quadrant of the city. It’s weird that that area was ever assigned to LASD considering it’s location NEC so annexing into MVWSD makes the most sense but that will never change because I’m sure those parents would rather travel across El Camino to LASD than attend MV schools.

As far as the elementary schools being distant from their homes, there’s no great answer since putting them all together in any one school concentrates the low income kids in one school which then provides challenges to that school that probably would negatively effect all the kids as far as quality of education. It’s much easier to mainstream a few socioeconomicly disadvantaged/ESL kids into a classroom than to fill half the school with kids that might need more attention than others.


9 people like this
Posted by SRB
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Aug 17, 2019 at 9:32 am

SRB is a registered user.

As a taxpayer, I'm grateful to Kevin and the Mountain View Voice for covering these top echelon changes at BCS (2 salaries -half a million in total?- funded by our tax dollars).

If BCS really wants to be viewed as a public school serving our community, Hurd and his board should welcome such coverage (pretty sure the Voice always covered every top level change at any of our 3 local public school districts)

@James Thurber - "Worldwide search" caught my eye as well. Although, in these times of hyperbole, I almost expected that search to be inter galactical :)


11 people like this
Posted by Concerned
a resident of another community
on Aug 17, 2019 at 10:37 am

Please read this excellent article closely! Ignore the many distractions in the comments by Bullis posters (some of whom have been deleted for posting under multiple names). The Bullis posters are merely trying to create false, negative narratives about LASD and its superintendent in order to shift attention away from the article’s main topic. This article is about the sudden departures of two top administrators at Bullis, and how Bullis is being very tight-lipped about it. As unbelievable as the article itself is, it raises further questions.

What is happening at Bullis that results in their superintendent being moved to a non-operational role only a few short weeks before school starts? Has Bullis’s new interim superintendent Brian Kohn been snatched from another charter, Oakland School of Arts, which also now suddenly needs a new interim Executive Director? Should Bullis parents be concerned about all of this churn in Bullis administration, with an interim superintendent this year and likely more transition ahead, to a yet-to-be-determined permanent superintendent? Should all taxpayers in LASD be concerned about what is happening at Bullis, and about the lack of transparency on it?


6 people like this
Posted by Facts
a resident of another community
on Aug 17, 2019 at 11:22 pm

The NEC population has not been growing exponentially. It's been a slow and steady growth from 600 to 800 between 2000 and today. Even the future growth is not anywhere near exponential with a likely increment of 200 over the next 5 to 10 years. However 1000 kids is a sizable portion of LASD.


This issue is probably the most important thing LASD has to deal with. They have gone through some contortions to justify their bizzare solutions for serving this area. They constantly drag Bullis into the problem which is not justified under any logic. Bliss has been in existence for 15 years so even if it did affect the area LASD should have figured out how to deal with it by now. Bullis has had the same superintendent the entire 15 years. I mean that's not exactly terrible churn.

If you look what Bullis board has been up to it would appear that this creation of a separate Charter School to serve Mountain View Whisman was a pretty high priority for them and that it was bungled. Now it looks like they tasked the former superintendent to deal solely with that or its equivalent.

It also appears like the County Board of Education sent a message to the Bullis board that they needed to do this in the first place, ie to improve outreach to other districts. It wasn't a sudden shift in direction...


5 people like this
Posted by SRB
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Aug 18, 2019 at 1:57 pm

SRB is a registered user.

@Mountain View Voice

Any chance you could also report on salary for the new temporary superintendent and for the founding superintendent (past one and revised one based on change of responsibilities)?

That type of information is routinely provided by our 3 local public school districts ... and should also be made available by taxpayer funded BCS.


Like this comment
Posted by Salaries
a resident of another community
on Aug 19, 2019 at 12:58 am

People think Bullis is taxpayer funded but this is not exactly so. The kids
at Bullis get only about 50% of the funding provided to each of the traditional school LASD students. Bullis has to raise contributions to fund the rest. Bullis saves the public money by relying on support from those who value its special program. Certainly, no public money is provided to Bullis to do public service outreach to propagate the features of the programs to other school district outside of LASD, as described as the new job of the former Superintendent. So that is not public money.

How much does LASD spend on helping other school districts? What's their budget for this? The Bullis budget is publicly reported under the Brown Act as their board approves it, why just like LASD.


12 people like this
Posted by Fed Up LASD Parent
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 19, 2019 at 8:21 am

Bullis should hire Baer. then it will stop growing.


1 person likes this
Posted by Concerned
a resident of another community
on Aug 20, 2019 at 12:51 am

@Salaries - Bullis is clearly taxpayer-funded. It receives funds from LASD taxpayers at the level set by our charter-friendly state.

Bullis chooses to supplement those revenues with contributions from parents and other charter supporters. There are many wealthy people who like to promote charter schools, such as the Walton family (of Walmart fame), Eli Broad, Reed Hastings, and our Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.

Bullis could avoid using public money to pay its old Superintendent to do outreach to other schools by simply terminating her employment. If Bullis parents wanted to fund this outreach, they could employ her through the Bullis-Purissima Elementary School Foundation. What is she going to be doing outreach about anyway? Bullis isn’t doing anything revolutionary.

LASD taxpayers would probably be surprised (and unhappy) if LASD spent time or money doing anything other than educating LASD students in its excellent tradition.






Like this comment
Posted by Good idea
a resident of another community
on Aug 20, 2019 at 9:51 pm

Since half if the operating funds for Bullis comes from its foundation and the total per student is still less per student than LASD, just pay outreach directly from the Foundation and reduce the per student funding even further. Bean counters are people too but some times they argue for a distinction without a difference.


2 people like this
Posted by Funny
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 29, 2019 at 10:34 pm

Baer the Bullis Bear.

Good one Fed Up. Maybe Baer can apply for the job.


Like this comment
Posted by Neighbor
a resident of another community
on Aug 30, 2019 at 11:23 am

I live right by Bullis Charter and am getting very tired of all the traffic in the morning and afternoon. The parents don’t care how they park and sometimes park so badly on very narrow roads that I can not get through to go to my house. I have had to call the police several times because calling the school doesn’t help. All they ask is how do you know they aren’t Egan parents? I can tell because Egan students are middle schoolers. And these parents have younger kids. Yesterday it took me 10 minutes go one block.


8 people like this
Posted by A Tired Parent
a resident of another community
on Aug 30, 2019 at 12:29 pm

@Neighbor

You might want to also contact LASD Trustees and let them know this. They allocate the facilities. Compare Bullis parking lot and parking lots for LASD schools (e.g., Egan, Loyola, ... etc), you'll find that Bullis parking lot is quite a bit smaller.

Bullis, being a campus that accommodates more students, needs a parking lot with multiple points of entry, with more parking spaces. This is up to LASD Trustees.

Once LASD Trustees decide to stop playing games and provide Bullis with equivalent facilities, EVERYONE will benefit.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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