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County education office sends third letter to Clayton Valley Charter over Brown Act, staffing issues

CLAYTON — The Contra Costa County Office of Education has issued its third letter in two days to Clayton Valley Charter High School on the heels of the departure of three top administrators.

The letter sent to the school Thursday questioned how the school will fill three vacant roles after the departures of its executive director, chief program officer and chief innovation officer this week, in addition to anticipated vacancies.

On Tuesday, news broke that Executive Director Dave Linzey and his wife, Chief Program Officer Eileen Linzey, had left Clayton Valley Charter and were not returning. School officials have not said whether the Linzeys resigned or were terminated and have not responded to public records requests.

On Wednesday, the county office of education said that Ted Meriam, chief innovation officer for the school, had resigned. Meriam had financially supported two charter school petitions in Antioch, East Bay Tech Academy Charter Middle and High School,  that were approved by Antioch Unified School District board by registering and creating the website for the schools.

Ron Leone, assistant superintendent for Clayton Valley Charter and candidate for Contra Costa County supervisor, supported the Antioch charters by signing the petition, stating he was “meaningfully interested in teaching” there.

Leone’s first date of employment at Clayton Valley Charter is unknown, as the school has denied requests for his contract. In April, the county office of education sent a letter warning the school that it had improperly withheld those documents.

Of the 17 people who signed their names showing interest in teaching at East Bay Tech Academy Charter Middle and High schools, it appears only one does not work for Clayton Valley Charter High School. Clayton Valley Charter stands to lose a significant number of administrators, teachers, coaches and a board member, Sarah Lovick, who is also a teacher, if they move to the Antioch schools. The co-petitioner on the two Antioch charter schools, Megan Moilanen, is also Clayton Valley Charter High School’s director of guidance and assessment.

The letter requested that Clayton Valley Charter create an administrative plan to address how the school “intends to fill the currently vacant executive director, chief program officer and chief innovation officer positions, as well as the anticipated vacancies for the assistant superintendent, and the director of guidance, assessment and testing.”

In April, the county office of education also sent a letter to Clayton Valley Charter warning that changes to its bylaws that gave David Linzey “sole and absolute discretion” in blocking members of the public from running for positions on the board were improper.

The county’s letter on Thursday also pointed to required documents to show Brown Act compliance. On Monday night, the governing board had a special meeting to discuss “public employee discipline/dismissal/release,” as well as two potential cases of possible litigation. After 90 minutes or more of discussion in closed session, the board reconvened to declare no reportable action was taken.

There has been no other board action regarding the departure of the Linzeys and the county is requesting Brown Act documents showing what actions were taken on that night.

Teachers, administrators and coaches interested in moving to East Bay Tech Academy – Antioch

Sarah Lovick, a teacher and governing board member; Gia Bevilacqua, director of discipline and attendance; Kelsey Thomas, digital graphic arts teacher; Jason Warner, a Spanish teacher, Ruth Steele, chief academic officer; Bob Ralston, head baseball coach and academic advisor; Casey Coakley, baseball coach; Guillermo Jara, physical education teacher and coach; Agnieszka Holda, physical education teacher; Jenna Ebert, physical education teacher; Thomas Sparks, teacher and co-athletic director; Eric Bamberger, teacher and co-athletic director; Tim Murphy, physical education teacher; Andrew Doss, social sciences teacher; and Kathleen Coakley, director of professional development.

Source: East Bay County education office sends third letter to Clayton Valley Charter over Brown Act, staffing issues

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