Crowell Elementary School is set to welcome a new principal halfway through the academic year, as Linda Alaniz moves to Turlock Adult School and Dennis Earl Assistant Principal Margaret Osmer takes her place at Crowell.
Earlier this year, Alaniz was named in unfair labor practice charges filed with the Public Employee Relations Board, however, the move to a different school site was instigated by Alaniz, according to Turlock Unified School District Superintendent Sonny Da Marto.
“I believe she’ll do a great job with the Turlock Adult School,” said Da Marto during Tuesday’s Board of Trustees meeting. “This is something we haven’t had since 2008.”
As assistant principal of Turlock Adult School, Alaniz will be filling in a position that the school has not seen in six years. The ability to hire Alaniz came after the school’s receipt of a $482,510 grant as part of the Workforce Investment Act, Title II: Adult Education and Family Literacy Act.
Alaniz faced backlash in May after she told one-third of Crowell school’s teachers that they would be moved to different grades. She was also involved in an incident with Crowell para instructional aide Deirdra Martinez after Martinez mentioned a student by name in a Facebook post. The aide’s post was a response to the Facebook page “Team Shabazian,” which was created to spread awareness about autism.
The post, which created conflict between Alaniz and Martinez, read:
“This is so awesome you’re doing this!! Nobody is suppose to know this but in my almost 7 years working in autism Andrew was my favorite student & touched my heart the most. I absolutely love that kid. Yaay Andrew!!!”
Martinez reported that Alaniz accused her of breaking the District’s confidentiality clause by mentioning the student’s name in her seemingly innocent post. Alaniz told Martinez that she had to sign a formal reprimand that would go on her employment record, to which Martinez refused.
When asked for a comment on Tuesday, Martinez reported that she and Alaniz have remained cordial since the incident, but she looks forward to the rest of the year with Osmer.
“I’m looking forward to a new principal at Crowell. It was a learning experience for all of us and we have grown individually,” said Martinez. “I wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors.”
These two positions were not the only staff changes announced at Tuesday’s Board meeting. The Board approved Da Marto’s recommendation of Ronna Fraser for interim assistant superintendent of financial services and Pam McDiffet for interim comptroller.
The Board also elected officers for next year by nominating Frank Lima for Board president, Harinder Grewal for clerk, and Eileen Hamilton for voting delegate beginning in the 2015 year.