District reassigns El Roble principal

Iraida Pisano

Iraida Pisano has been removed from her post as El Roble
Elementary School principal and will be reassigned to another
position in the school district.
Iraida Pisano has been removed from her post as El Roble Elementary School principal and will be reassigned to another position in the school district.

Two retired principals, Kathleen Masner and Karen Tavares, who served as interim principals of El Roble during the fall of 2007, are filling in for Pisano, Superintendent Deborah Flores said.

Flores would not say where the El Roble principal would be working until she ran her decision by Pisano. She expected to do that Wednesday morning. Pisano will be reassigned to another school site for the rest of the school year and will not be returning to El Roble, Flores said.

“The events of the last few weeks have led me to believe we needed to make a change at El Roble,” Flores said.

Earlier this month, the Gilroy Teachers Association filed a two-inch thick unfair labor practice complaint against Pisano charging her with harassment, discrimination and making threats to teachers. This set off a two-week firestorm of parents advocating for Pisano’s stay while teachers gave emotional pleas to trustees to oust Pisano.

The campus returned to “normal” this week in Pisano’s absence, teachers said. Also absent were the banners students and parents waved on campus earlier this month and at a joint Gilroy City Council-Gilroy Unified School District board of trustees meeting in support of their principal.

“Everything has been very quiet,” said one teacher. “It’s not like we’re jumping up and down for joy but it’s more relaxed. I think we’re breathing a sigh of relief. We feel more at ease and I think we can concentrate on teaching now.”

Flores informed El Roble teachers of her decision at a short staff meeting Monday. A letter was sent to El Roble parents Monday informing them of their new principals.

Pisano was not on campus Monday or Tuesday, teachers said. The district has not begun advertising for her position yet, according to a search of EdJoin.org, a job posting Web site for California schools that Gilroy commonly uses.

The majority of the district’s managers, including Pisano, hold one-year contracts and work at the will of the school board, Flores said. She would not confirm whether Pisano was the elementary school principal trustees voted to release at a previous board meeting.

When Flores shared the news with teachers Monday, teachers asked if the district would help facilitate a meeting to help mend their relationship with parents, Flores said.

“I’m very pleased that they asked about that,” she said. “I think it would bring the two groups together. I would like to do that soon.”

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