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DUSD chooses new superintendent; negotiations continue
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The Denair Unified School District has had its fair share of turbulence in the past year, but as the District turns the corner into a new year they are also turning over a new leaf to welcome a superintendent and a fact finding report.

The board’s unanimous vote of approval confirmed that Aaron Rosander of Mariposa Unified School District would lead the District. The new superintendent was not in attendance at the first DUSD school board meeting on Thursday evening as he was simultaneously submitting his official resignation in Mariposa.

Rosander’s official contract will commence on Feb. 1 and last until June 30, 2017. He will begin work in the district on Feb. 10, but may be seen touring the school sites prior to that. Rosander will be paid an annual base salary of $135,000 reduced at the same level as the Certificated Administrative Salary Schedule concessions, which is a reduction of 11.05 percent thus bringing the salary to $120,083. Rosander will receive prorated compensation for the remainder of the 2013-2014 school year. 

Rosander has been the superintendent at Mariposa since 2010.


“I think it will start to heal some of the chasms that have developed over the years. The Board will rely on his expertise to guide us through these issues and bring us out healthy on the other side,” said Denair Unified Teachers’ Association President Barry Cole, one of the 22 people who served on the community panel that chose Rosander from among 6 other candidates.


Interim Superintendent Dr. Walt Hanline was conspicuously not present at the meeting on Thursday evening as he has exhausted the days arranged for him to serve in the district. He Skyped in for the closed session meeting prior to the public meeting and plans to follow through with the negotiations process.


“Until its fixed I’m not giving up,” said Hanline.


Hanline has been in the crosshairs of polarized opinions that have plagued the district as the board and DUTA have disagreed on the basic facts of the District’s financial crisis. DUSD is moving further in its negotiations process as the fact-finding report has been delivered and DUTA and the district met on Tuesday for negotiations with Hanline Skyping in.


“We will abide by everything in the report,” said Cole at the Thursday meeting, who urged the District and Board of Trustees to remember their pledge to follow the report’s recommendations.

Although the collaboration seems promising, Hanline maintains reservations that the report may not be the ultimate solution.


“The report is a one year solution. The report I believe will validate what the board has been advocating but we should do better than that, I believe the district can do better than that. It solves the primary problems, the financial problem and I think everyone agrees on that,” said Hanline. “But I think it is better that we have a long term solution and not a short term fix.”


DUTA and the board will meet again next Thursday for further negotiations.


Despite negotiations progress, the District’s financial crisis still hovers as Fiscal Advisor Terry Ryland reminded the Board that eight layoffs need to be made or another step in the state takeover process will be made.


 “The District needs to be balanced by June 30 and we’re going to run out of time,” said Ryland who noted that the Stanislaus County Office of Education will have to call upon the Financial Crisis and Management Assistance Team, which is a step towards state takeover, if layoffs are not made.