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MV Whisman taps former PAUSD head as interim superintendent

Original post made on Dec 12, 2014

The Mountain View Whisman school board is tapping Kevin Skelly as the district's interim superintendent. Skelly, the former superintendent of Palo Alto Unified School District, will lead the K-8 district from Jan. 1 through June 30.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, December 12, 2014, 1:44 PM

Comments (14)

Posted by Interested Observer
a resident of another community
on Dec 12, 2014 at 3:00 pm

Although I am very saddened that Craig Goldman is leaving, I do have to congratulate the Board in hiring Kevin Skelly as the interim. Mr. Skelly is well known in the Education Community in Santa Clara County. He was an outstanding principal at Saratoga High School for many years and Superintendent of the Palo School District. He brings a wealth of experience with him and will do an excellent job leading the district through this transition period.

Posted by Skelly is laughing
a resident of another community
on Dec 12, 2014 at 8:56 pm

Dance of the lemons. What happened here? Did the board call Leadership Associates or the Association of California School Administrators? I would predict the former. Do you remember Maurice Gyhsels? This will be similar, but the vocabulary will be a level higher. Same result, though, sorry to say. He'll be back with his old friend, CTA negotiator and Craig Goldman-hater, Wendy Dilliingham-Plew. This move will placate her and her cartooning tendencies. He is a union-pleaser. Check for what to expect over the next six months. Check 2009 for his view on why Latino children cannot compete academically.

Posted by B Minkin
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Dec 12, 2014 at 11:14 pm

What terrible news!

Did anyone consult this administrator's disastrous track record in Palo Alto before hiring him, even temporarily? If they had, they would have seen his tenure dominated by a disruptive, obstructionist, and expensive battle with the US Office of Civil Rights.

They would have seen mismanagement in policy and practice of how bullies and their victims are handled. This lead to a series of lawsuits and Federal oversight of a troubled system.

They would have seen the statistics presented that in board meetings that showed historic and continued poor resources provided to minorities.

Palo Alto just got rid of this administrator — who got affection only from most reactionist Libertarian board members there — and now he is brought in to give Mountain View more of the same headaches.

You needn't believe me. The Palo Alto paper has an education reporter who filled volumes with her stories about the problems the school system suffered while this administrator headed the system there. They were lucky to be rid of him. We are not so fortunate.

Let's hope his employment here is so brief that he does not damage the school system too badly.

Posted by Ed
a resident of another community
on Dec 13, 2014 at 7:30 pm

OMG! Skelly presided over one blunder after another at PAUSD. What exactly does the Whisman school board have in mind for its schools?

Posted by Observer
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 14, 2014 at 7:50 am

I'd have to agree that this is the old boy's network running full steam. This is the same guy who had the Office of Civil Rights pass judgement against his poor handling of a bullying incident. And this comes only several weeks after we've read in this paper that of a survey confirming widespread bullying going on in Mountain View schools. Perfect match. I doubt, however, this guy will match the notoriety of that clown Ghysels.

Posted by Interested Observer
a resident of another community
on Dec 14, 2014 at 9:42 am

Kevin Skelly had many successful years as a principal at Saratoga High School, as an assistant superintendent in Poway and as superintendent in Palo Alto. Were some mistakes made towards the end of his tenure in Palo Alto - probably and, as is often the case, the superintendent ultimately takes the blame. As someone who worked in public education for many years, I am disturbed by the cynicism expressed in some of these emails and at the folks who cry about transparency who have such little knowledge of how a public school district functions and what can or cannot be communicated to the public. Believe me, you don't know everything about what happened in Palo Alto nor are you entitled to know everything.

Posted by Don't know everything
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Dec 14, 2014 at 2:06 pm

I certainly don't know everything that happens in the Palo Alto schools - my kids have never been there.

BUT, I do know that the kids who do go there are so stressed out, they tragically feel they have to throw themselves in front of a train.

I hope that high-pressure mentality does not come with Mr. Skelly.

Posted by Skelly is laughing
a resident of another community
on Dec 14, 2014 at 11:47 pm

It's a gross generalization to characterize Skelly's three years at Poway as successful just as it would be wrong to assume he is going to bring added stress. He will bring arrogance and apologies and no real leadership. He's a good choice for a six month interim to keep the chair warm, but pray the board uses a different search firm than Leadership Associates to find a seasoned superintendent.

Posted by Old Steve
a resident of Rex Manor
on Dec 15, 2014 at 1:10 pm

I don't know Dr. Skelley, but he is highly educated and was selected by the PAUSD board in a very competitive situation. Having grown up in PAUSD, things actually have not changed much there in forty years. The highly educated community, as represented by its elected board members always believes they know education better than the professionals they hire. When Superintendents stand up to either parents or board members, they are frequently branded as arrogant. The best part of an interim hire with a local background is that the other leaders can keep doing their jobs without having to "spin up" the interim, or worse, divide up the extra responsibilities for six months.

Posted by Proverbial
a resident of another community
on Dec 17, 2014 at 8:23 pm

Be careful what you ask for.

Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jan 17, 2015 at 7:48 pm

Now, a little more than one month since this announcement. We have chosen a Superintendent search firm, and it is not Leadership Associates. We have a administrator who appears Strong, but we get a Weekly Update, of what he is doing. [Publicly available - learned the hard way - at the hands of a Palo Alto editor and some Public Records fights]. We have a public utterance that, when it comes to Facilities, 'you can't always git what you want to.' The dude is fluent in Spanish, at least the speaking level. He greets parents at the most Hispanic school on the first school day of the year, and not the parents at the most wealthy school.
I knew exactly the problems he had at PAUSD with the OCR. I went to several PAUSD Bd. meetings in 2013-14 and saw him deal with 'that mistake.' Better a reformed sinner, or one that thinks they are always an angel?
S.N. is an elected member of the MVWSD. His opinions are his own.

Posted by @ Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jan 18, 2015 at 4:20 pm

How about you show a little respect for Dr. Skelly? He is an educated individual who has worked hard in his career. He isn't a "dude." Shame on you also for calling him a "reformed sinner." Since you like to label everyone, what label do you have for yourself?

Posted by Observer
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 19, 2015 at 7:21 am

[Post removed.]

Posted by Saratoga Parent
a resident of another community
on Jul 2, 2015 at 1:09 pm

I hope you know what you are getting. How is this guy able to receive appointment after appointment and job after job given his past? The Civil Rights episode is just the tip of the Ice Berg for Dr. Skelly. He's been denying "responsibility" for scandal/tragedy under his watch since his days at Saratoga High over a decade ago. I suppose "Suicide Epidemics" (Gunn) and "Cheating Scandals" (Saratoga) just aren't his responsibility even when it happens at "his school"?

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