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Dublin School Superintendent Marken Resigns Unexpectedly due to Dispute with Board Trustees

June 23, 2020
DSC_0296

(former) Superintendent Marken

DUBLIN, CA–As though parents in Dublin didn’t have enough to worry about, with an accelerating coronavirus pandemic, layoffs and economic recession and racial justice conflict, there is one more worry – the stability of the Dublin Unified School District. At tonight’s Dublin School Board meeting Superintendent Dave Marken unexpectedly resigned in closed session. Based on feedback from teachers the dispute between Superintendent Marken was primarily with Trustees Blackman, Cherrier and Kuo who chose to disregard the Superintendent’s tentative agreement with the DTA. This is particularly surprising given the State of California announcing yesterday a budget agreement that avoids K-12 cuts (source). [UPDATED 6/24/20 with additional letters received from the community.]

[UPDATED 6/27/20] Dublin resident Catheryn Grier started a Change.org petition (“A Vote of “No Confidence” in Dublin Unified’s Board of Education (BOE) Majority”) that has garnered over 650 signatures in under 12 hours.

Parents who have not paid close attention to DUSD or its Trustees are recommended to do so in the upcoming months and election. Marken published the following letter to the community:

DUSD Staff and Community,

As many of you know, I have worked in Dublin Unified for 15 years. Over the years, I have held many different positions in this district. I love the people of this community, and the staff who give tirelessly in our schools and to our students. That love, that focus, on our children has to be at the core of anyone working in public education.

A few years ago, I retired from a long career in education. I volunteered in my community, spent time with family, and worked part time in an amazing organization that does phenomenal work with our disadvantaged high school students. 

Then I got a call. A call from Dublin Unified. It was a call asking me for my help. Asking me to consider coming back to Dublin. To help fix some problems, to help bring people together. To build some bridges, to repair some bridges. To help move this district forward and make things better.

I thought about it. Did I really want to leave and go back into the trenches? Back to the day-to-day grind of a far-more-than full-time position? Was it worth it?

But, it was Dublin. I made my concerns crystal clear. I was told, assured, and reassured, that I was wanted and needed, and that what I could bring to the table, was what this district wanted and needed.

And so I accepted the role. I dove in completely. 

Leading a school district isn’t for the faint of heart. I never expected smooth sailing. But I kept telling myself that I was asked to come here. Asked to upend my life. Asked to come back and bring my knowledge, experience, expertise and passion for students back here to Dublin.

So I came in with the best of intentions. Wanting to help. Wanting to lead. WHY? The WHY is the key question. The WHY is because of our students.

Those intentions will not be met now. Those assurances that what I brought to Dublin is no longer desired.

I submitted my resignation last night in closed session and it was reported out in open session.

I am sorry that I wasn’t able to finish everything I believed needed to be done. I want to apologize to our dedicated teachers, staff and administration. Most of all I want to apologize to the students and families in Dublin.

I truly hope someone else can somehow, some way, get it done.  But that person will not be me.

I wish you the very best.

Dave Marken Ed.D

The response from the teachers, who have praised the return of Superintendent Marken, was immediate and negative. We received several letters:

Dear DUSD Board Members,

Receiving the news that our amazing Superintendent Dave Marken is resigning has come as a huge disappointment, but not a surprise. The way that three of you (Dan Cherrier, Gabi Blackman, and Catherine Kuo) chose to disregard the district’s recommendations for the DTA tentative agreement shows that you do not side with the district. You did not side with Dr. Marken. You did not side with the teachers and staff who have worked mercilessly to ensure that things ran smoothly during a very chaotic spring semester. While I understand your hesitations in light of the future budget, you didn’t trust the district to recommend the correct course of action despite several people saying they were confident in the T.A.. And for that, you are now the ones to blame for our outstanding superintendent choosing to leave. It’s not a surprise because how could he possibly keep working with a board of trustees that continues to side against district recommendations? It is a devastating loss. Dr. Marken has been an incredible leader, one that I believe all of the DUSD employees have looked up to and admired because of the way that he has led us with such dignity, wisdom, care, and transparency. With everything being so up in the air and uncertain since March, the one thing that has kept many going is that we have had excellent leadership. Now that your actions have caused our superintendent to step down, everything may get all the more disrupted, and that’s no one’s fault but your own.

Nothing can be done about Dr. Marken’s resignation, but if you do not reconsider the tentative agreement, you will continue to foster a broken relationship between yourselves and the district employees – just as Megan Rouse and Amy Miller predicted as they implored you to support the DTA. You have lost, and will perhaps not be able to regain, our trust. We regret your decisions greatly.

Victoria Rashe
CSEA member

and

Dear Members,

As you might have not known, just a couple moments ago, Superintendent Dr. Dave Marken gave his resignation to the board during the close session. President Dan Cherrier has announced that there will be Special Board meetings about this in the next couple of days. More to come about that.

If you haven’t been up to date, we have been having issues with 3 board members, Dan Cherrier, Gabi Blackman, and Catherine Kuo. These board members are the ones that have destroyed our DUSD family and culture and made it impossible for Dr. Marken to continue working here. I would please ask you to email the board of your regrets of their actions. I also would ask you to copy in some of the media to make it known about these 3 board members.

BOARD MEMBER EMAILS
cherrierdan@dublinusd.org, blackmangabi@dublinusd.org, kuocatherine@dublinusd.org, milleramy@dublinusd.org, rousemegan@dublinusd.org

In Solidarity,

Keoki Yee
CSEA President

and

Dear DUSD Board Members,

I address this email specifically to Trustees Kuo, Blackman, & Cherrier.

This evening’s DUSD BOT virtual meeting was incredibly sad/reckless. As I sat down to view the meeting and saw Dr. Marken’s computer frame appear I could immediately see something was wrong – never did I expect to hear a resignation letter. However, this look on his face has been seen numerous times by many of us while addressing this board. It’s a look of dissatisfaction. It’s a look of an unsupportive “boss(es)” not being heard, defeated. To lose our superintendent, who stepped in when asked by this district to lead us back to a unified district (post Boozer) to lose him at this time is incredibly irresponsible of this Board of Trustee’s. I looked at your faces as he read his resignation letter and three of you were expressionless, nonchalant. You should have said something meaningful, valuable, caring but you individually and collectively said nothing. Is this the District we all work tirelessly for and do you truly represent us?

Deeply saddened,
Karen

and

Dear board members,

First of all, thank you to Trustee Miller and Trustee Rouse for putting students first, knowing our district’s history and respecting Dr. Marken and our community in supporting the tentative agreement. We understand how difficult it must be for you to be in the minority, staying in the right, time and time out.

I am a DUSD teacher and a parent of a DUSD student. I came into the district 4 years ago, when Dr. Boozer was beginning, and it felt dark. There was no communication, no growth, and completely wrong decisions were made consistently. School and district communities felt closed off, “get the job done” and “let’s do what we’ve always done.” It wasn’t a very comforting place to be, and I didn’t feel like I was supported in being the best teacher I could be.

Note that this was a time in which district admin were leaving at a high rate, principals and APs were shifting constantly, and no one knew what the direction of the district was. Furthermore, we Dr. Gonzales and Dr. Boozer were released from their contract, our district was forced to shell out hundreds of thousands in funds for buy-outs. Talk about a waste of money!

When Dr. Marken was introduced as the assistant superintendent, the more experienced colleagues were so excited and hopeful; they knew that Dr. Marken would provide the light that we desperately needed. I was skeptical – superintendents always seemed to hold back good classroom practices, not bring them out. Frankly, what was so special about Dr. Marken that he could turn it all around? And then, he started. Here’s what he provided: communication, intelligence and critical thinking, empathy, and experience as a student, educator, parent and administrator.

As a parent, I feel in the know. I know what the district’s working on, I know why it’s important to the district, and i know that all students are supported, not just the ones whose parents are most vocal. His videos and messages provided levity and experience, explained rationale while also soliciting my thoughts as a staff member and parent. He made informed decisions, backed up by research and the opinions of all of us stakeholders.

Trustees Blackman, Cherrier and Kuo: You should be ashamed of yourselves. You’ve held back important decisions for our district at a time when leadership and collaborative teamwork are most needed. What has it cost us? A leader who has righted our ship, and navigated us through unprecedented stormy seas of wildfire-caused shutdowns, student tragedies, and a global pandemic. You denigrated his position, you made working for change nearly untenable. If you don’t make the necessary changes in your thinking, philosophy and support, you’re going to see more high-quality teachers take their skills elsewhere. You’re going to see principals and district-office staff going elsewhere, and we’re going to be back in the “chicken with its head cut off” district that we had just a few years ago. But we would not ever let our students give up, so we will not give up; I’m even not giving up on you! We will vote, we will educate our friends, our neighbors and our school community about the backward decisions you’ve made so that true change can be made. I hope that you, too, will reflect and acknowledge the gross errors in judgment that you have made.

You claim to be concerned for the fiscal state of our district, and you hold on to money that is needed in emergencies. Well, we’re here in that emergency! The monies are needed, and you’re holding on to way too much in reserves. Think critically – how can we improve our schools in this particular point in time?! Ratify the teacher agreement NOW, fix this mess you’ve made with our superintendent, and get back to thinking about a truly effective and beneficial way for students and staff to get back to the education of our community. It matters – your actions to this point do not.

Thank you for your time,
Nandini Nulman

and

Dear President Cherrier, Trustee Blackman, Trustee Kuo,

Do you know what you have done? Do you know that your choices, actions, and demands have negatively impacted Dublin Unified School District? The only 3 people involved with DUSD who had any issue/problem/challenge with Dr. Dave Marken were you three.

The hope and happiness that overcame me when Dr. Marken joined us as interim superintendent was fulfilling. The pure joy that overcame me when Dr. Marken was appointed interim superintendent was electrifying. I knew DUSD would be okay….better than okay. Dave was back!!!!

Welp, now DUSD is completely screwed. We have no leader. There are 2 Asst. Sups. who either came out of retirement to help or waived off retirement to stay because of Dr. Marken. Why would they stay in DUSD?

Your complete negligence for DUSD teachers has sparked an outrage not only to myself, but to my colleagues and the Dublin community. Your job is to progress our current education system, not hinder it. You should be ashamed of the way you have handled your job and how you have affected those around you. Do something right for once and step down.

A DUSD Teacher

and

Dear Trustees Cherrier, Blackman, and Kuo,

I am writing to you now to convey how utterly heartbroken I am that our strongest leader in Dublin history has just chosen to leave us because of your inability to work collaboratively. At a time like this, when all schools and districts in the world are wondering how to navigate this next year, we needed Dr. Marken more than ever. In fact, the main reason that I had confidence we would figure it out was that I knew Dr. Marken was the most capable person we could have in charge. When I found out that he resigned, I was shocked and so disappointed, but yet not surprised. How can that be? Those contradictory feelings were possible because I have seen you throw a roadblock up in front of him countless times over the last year. I have written so many emails and called upon our community to make their voices heard because of the dysfunction and intransigence of you three board members. I can say without any hesitation that you all have repeatedly damaged our Dublin community through your inability to work with our district staff and administration. For every step forward that happens, you force us to take two steps back, and all because you think your purpose is to represent some small minority of voters rather than doing the job of creating a safe and supportive learning community for the students, staff, administration, and families of ALL of Dublin. People can only take so much of that before all confidence is lost. As I sit surrounded by a pile of tissues from the emotional catharsis that hit me this morning, and explaining to my children through sobs why I am so upset, the only course of action that I can take at this point is to publicly call for the resignation of all three of you. You are not here to do what is best for our entire community, and you never have been. It is time that you move on, so that we can find reasonable people with open minds who have the ability to collaborate with the stakeholders of the district rather than being influenced by politics and partially informed personal opinion.

Trustee Kuo – I do believe that you want to do what’s right deep down, but keep resisting the choice to collaborate for some political reason. If you can re-evaluate your approach to how to perform this job effectively, and begin to truly listen to the stakeholders, especially someone with as much experience and knowledge as Dr. Marken, I do think you have the potential to become an effective Board member. At this point, you do have the ability to significantly change the course of action for our community over the next year during a time of world crisis. I would encourage you to think about whether you are really up for this role, and if you think that you can rise to it, then please do.

Sincerely,

Julianne Sundstrom
DHS Teacher and Parent of a DHS student

and

Trustees Blackman, Kuo, and Cherrier,

I write to you in complete disappointment as teacher in DUSD. The past three years have been extremely tumultuous for Dublin, during a time of extremely rapid growth. We should have spent the past three years laying the foundations and ground work for what our district will become as we grow. Instead, they have been marred by constant conflict between the District and DTA. I spent the first two years of my time in Dublin with the horrific leadership of Boozer. How she was hired here, I will never understand. The conflict was palpable at every level of the district.

But, that time came to an end, or so we thought. Dr. Marken’s leadership was a complete breath of fresh air. He vowed to work hard, and followed through on that vow through his actions. He worked collaboratively with DTA. Every action was with the true best interests of students in mind. This instilled a sense of calm, confidence, and trust felt at every level of the district. I could stop worrying about negotiations because I trusted that the right decisions would be made. I could stand focused in front of my students.
Your decisions are supposed to be made with the best interests of students in mind. Two of your colleagues seem laser focused on that point. Thank you, Trustees Miller and Rouse. Three of you seem to be making decisions purely based on what puts the most money in the district coffers. So, since you don’t seem to understand student or teacher needs and interests, let me translate these issues into a language you understand.

1) Your vote of “no” directly impacts the education of students with disabilities. Rising class sizes in SDC makes the correct implementation of extremely complex IEP’s difficult. The more difficult that becomes, the more mistakes are made (mistakes that are compounded when you can’t attract experienced, skilled, or even credentialed teachers to these classes). The more that mistakes are made, the more likely parents are to sue. School districts will almost always choose to settle in IEP related lawsuits. How many millions are you willing to throw away in legal fees and settlement payments? Ask Cupertino how that goes.

2) Underpaying teachers and coaches directly impacts student achievement. When surrounding school districts are more attractive than Dublin, how will we staff our schools with teachers capable of fostering student achievement? We’re growing, and we need skilled teachers in those classrooms. If we can’t attract them, student achievement will fall, graduation rates will fall, and people will leave our district. That means a reduction in student body and property taxes, reducing our overall district funding.

Since some of you can’t seem to understand the reality that the people impacted by your decisions really are humans who deserve compassion and respect (values we try to teach our students, but don’t see examples of in your leadership), I have translated for your more dollars and cents focused minds.

I’d love to discuss these issues with any of you at length, but honestly I’d be shocked if you even opened this email, since you seem to ignore your teachers more than listen.

Thank You,

Samuel Durham, M. Ed
Counseling Enriched Teacher, Dublin High School
Head Wrestling Coach, Dublin High School, Fallon Middle School, Wells Middle School

and

My heart skipped an extra beat and then sank as I read the email from Dr. Marken that he had resigned from his post as the Interim Superintendent of DUSD. I could feel the anger and the frustration building inside me. And then the “Oh, MY GOD! Not now!!!”

It is truly remarkable that the three members of the DUSD Board Trustees (Cherrier, Blackman, Kuo) have managed to oust a leader who was beginning to restore, finally, the semblance of the educational leadership that was desperately needed in our district. Any trust that the community has begun to place in the district management since Dr. Marken had come to our rescue and stood up for the educators and education in our district had eroded after the Board’s actions 1) failure to pass the Credit/No Credit grading system the first time, 2) failure to pass the Tentative Agreement with the DTA, and now, 3) bring about Dr. Marken’s resignation. The name TRUSTee suggests that people should be able to put trust in you. Are you fulfilling that role?

I believe the paramount role of the Board of Trustees is to make decisions and set policies that support the needs of the school communities that you are elected to SERVE. When people talk about serving the communities, that should mean serving PEOPLE. A school district is not a corporation. Even a corporation run like our district with a high turn-over rate, the disgruntled workers, and the disgruntled customers would probably fail.

Let’s consider the current situation we are in. We are dealing with THE crisis of our lifetime with so many unknowns and yet so many urgent decisions that need to be made for our kids and their families as well as the staff members. What additional emergencies are you waiting for before you will take actions toward education? Our district has 8 times the emergency fund than the 3% that the state requires. This is not just a “rainy day” we are trying to get through; it’s POURING!!! Use the funds for our kids and to support the educators who are in the front line!

When you say “We appreciate all you do for our kids!” you should really mean that by SHOWING us in action that you appreciate us. We can’t live on words alone!!!

In that respect, I appreciate (and I’m sure that there are many many others as well) Trustee Miller and Trustee Rouse for showing support for our kids and the DTA.

Mid-March to the end of May was the most stressful period of my almost 25 years in teaching! While everything was happening so quickly, I felt like I was dancing to a different tune every single day as the site administration and the district management were handing down the “directives”- a lot of times not so unified or focused- on contacting students and their families, keeping track of kids not turning in their homework, holding virtual office hours, going back and forth on grading system, etc. I was working for more than 12 hours every day, including the weekends! It was exhausting!!!

Restful summer? NO!!! I was full of angst as it were as I was thinking about all of the adjustments I’d need to make for “hybrid” (Oops! “Choice”) model of learning for the upcoming school year. Now, with Dave’s sudden departure, even that is in jeopardy! What do we do now? Who, if anyone, will be at the helm leading us through this uncertain time?

Our kids cannot rebound from this kind of a setback and neither can we, as staff members.

This, indeed, is a sad day for all Dublin community.

Sincerely,

Jacqueline Ji
Math Teacher
Dublin High School

and

Ms. Blackman,

Your board choices are unconscionable. Just like the tentative agreement that you agreed to, a breach of contract was committed by you with regards to Dr. Marken. When you called on him, he stepped up. Did you keep your end of the bargain? He was helping us through a turning point in our district and community. At a time when leadership is critical, you just forced out the best leader the district has ever had.

I have been a part of this district for 42 years as a student, parent, and teacher. We have been an example to follow, now we show instability without a positive direction. It is already difficult enough in these unprecedented times. We had leadership to move us through this. The community was working as a team. Dr. Marken has always been a strong leader who works on a vision for what is best. We have been stable until you decided to hire the previous superintendent. Now we are left without leadership and a contract during a time when we have to make some really tough decisions to continue the education of our students.

To make matters worse, we are not a business. We educate children to provide a better future for us all. Everyone deserves to have the best that we can provide. Your decisions show that is not your priority. You sit on your board seat making these decisions like everything stops with you. We are in the classrooms everyday, virtually or ground doing the real work. You have sent us spiraling into more uncertainty. We have less than 60 days to provide for those students, they rely on us to be stable and confident to support and nurture them. Did any of this cross your mind?

This is a devastating blow to the health of this district and one which will not soon recover from. Following Dr. Marken is not far from my mind. You should know better, ‘trustee’ has the word trust. Now we have none.

Kelly Russo-O’Carroll

and

The de-Unification of Dublin Unified School District

We really need to make this better,
Support our teachers, in sunny or rainy weather,
I don’t have the answers on how to move forward,
But we DEFINITELY need a goal to work toward,

Please reconsider and rescind your vote,
Think about what kind of community you want to promote,
I ask you again. Think what our future is about.
Our teachers want to teach, not take the strike route.

Give teachers the money they earned and deserve.
While the superintendent works on flattening the curve.
During this pandemic, you must truly see,
That teachers are MOST important, in what our future will be.

Sincerely,
Deborah Yamasaki
Dublin resident, parent, volunteer, and Frederiksen PFC co-president (I can also rap the poem for your entertainment pleasure)

and

Trustees Blackman, Cherrier & Kuo,

What happened last night is the culmination of your negative leadership on this board. At this point, I am not sure what you want to even achieve in your positions as trustees. You have made it abundantly clear in your time on the board that you do not represent the interests of ALL Dublin students, ALL Dublin sites, ALL Dublin staff or the community as a whole. I frankly do not know who’s interests you represent. You are elected by area, but you are a trustee for the entire district and none of you are acting in that capacity. At every turn you question or outright reject the opinions and decisions of the experts in this district. You are not the experts, you are not on the front lines, you do not have the prior knowledge or experience to make the decisions you have been making these past few months. In reality, you are not expected to make these decisions, it’s why the district staff, administration and teachers present their knowledge, research and recommendations, yet at every turn you reject the information from the experts. You do so under the guise of “fiscal responsibility” and “process” but it’s clear there is more behind the complete disregard for the experts in the district, who’s interests do you represent? Who do you serve? Because it is clearly not the majority of our district or community. You’ve repeatedly made horrendous decisions that cause such outcry that you back pedal. You criticize others for vocalizing a lack of trust. You complain of being bullied when teachers and the public convey their displeasure in your decisions (just a quick clarification you may want to convey to your supporters who accuse DTA of being bullies – you are public officials and it’s the public’s RIGHT to petition their government). You voted down a TA that was bargained in good faith and with your knowledge. You did so under your personal opinions about “fiscal responsibility”, disregarding the expert opinions and recommendations of the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, CBO, Superintendent and the approval of the Alameda County Office of Ed.

It wasn’t that long ago during public comment that you all heard the outpouring of support for our superintendent, to which one of you implied was a waste of time. Dr. Dave Marken is one of the best educators I’ve ever worked for. He hired me 17 years ago when he was principal at DHS. When he moved up to the district office, I still had many opportunities to work with him, there is no one like him. After the horrendous years of Dr Boozer, the mass exodus of leadership district wide and terrible negotiations, I was ecstatic to hear Dr Marken was coming out of retirement to help our district recover. The change was immediate. The morale improved and a sense of hope returned. We started the school year on such a positive note and we collectively sighed in relief that we were back on track and feeling good. You 3 have now ruined that. I cannot tell you the immediate and gut wrenching reaction that went through Dublin when the announcement was made last night and the 3 of you didn’t even look phased, it was actually quite disturbing to watch. Even my soon to be 4th grader was sad, she had seen Dr Marken at Dublin El on numerous occasions and was always excited to share when he had been there. That’s the kind of leader he is and you have run him out. Who is going to want to work for this district? I’ve fretted about this more and more as I’ve continued to watch your divisive nature infect this board and your disrespect towards teachers and staff deflate morale. But now, you’ve caused one of the best superintendents to abruptly leave and in the midst of uncertainty about the upcoming year. For Dr. Marken to walk away from his commitment to us is shocking and it is the direct result of your actions. This board has a reputation across the state and it just got worse. So again, what is your goal? Who do you serve?

Jennifer McCort
Dublin Teacher, Parent & Resident

PS – Perhaps learn the mission statement as well, that was embarrassing. If you can follow the agenda and read your text messages during a meeting, you should be able to read the mission statement.

and

An open letter to the Dublin Unified School District Board of Education,

To be an educator, employee, and a parent in DUSD during these last 24 hours has been difficult to say the least. I’m sure you will be inundated with emails in the coming days, but I sincerely hope you take the time to read this one. I’ve spoken with many other members of DUSD and of the Dublin parent community prior to writing this letter, and I hope I am representing their thoughts well.

As I took my morning walk today, I couldn’t help but recall the professional development day this past August. Dr. Marken showed a video of a ship going through a horrendous storm. He equated it to DUSD, how we had gone through three years of district upheaval by our previous administration. DUSD was in a tailspin, with no way to right the ship. He then showed a video of that same ship being rescued. The sea had calmed, the sun was shining, and everyone on board had been saved. Everyone who watched that video knew why he showed it. It was because DUSD was no longer spinning uncontrollably, he had come to right the ship and save us all. And save us he did.

Dr. Marken was so much more than your standard, run of the mill Superintendent. He genuinely cared about this district, the staff, the students, and the community. You could feel his love in every email and every video post. Parents felt heard. Staff felt supported. Students were thriving. I remember sitting and watching those videos on that PD day with so much hope for Dublin’s future…

Our school year started out so well – better than it had been in awhile. And as we all know, 2020 came and smacked us all upside the head. Covid came and instantly changed education, and the world, as we knew it. It has been probably the hardest thing that most of us have gone through, both personally and professionally. But teachers marched forward, doing what they do best – teach. You see, as any educator will tell you, school isn’t just a place. It’s not a classroom, or a chromebook, or a perfectly manicured lawn. The heart of a school is the teachers. Without us, a school is just a building. Teachers and specialists proved this once again as we all learned how to do our craft from home. We taught while we managed our own families, bouncing babies in our laps and schooling our own children as we taught our students. Teachers were not on an “extended vacation” – we all worked longer hours and harder than we have in our careers. And Dr. Marken knew that. Because Dr. Marken valued his staff, he had our trust. And as we navigated these uncharted waters, we knew that we had the best captain we could have dreamed of. Would he always do exactly what we wanted? No! But he would always do what was needed, and no matter what, we knew he would do what is best for kids. So as we headed into the biggest storm of our lives, we trusted Dr. Marken to lead the way.

If you have watched any board meetings, it was obvious that there was tension between you as well as between yourselves and Dr. Marken. Dr. Marken tried to do what was best for students time and time again, and yet he hit roadblock after roadblock. It is apparent that some board members have their own agenda, one that doesn’t value the students and the staff in Dublin. Voting No on the DTA/DUSD Tentative Agreement was not the beginning, but the last straw. And at last night’s board meeting, our leader announced he is leaving – because of you. To know Dr. Marken like many of us do, is to know that he did not come to this decision lightly. He wouldn’t leave Dublin unless he had no other choice. It is clear that whatever was occurring behind the scenes was far worse than what the public was aware of, which is disturbing on so many levels. Although each of you were elected by your own district within Dublin, you now represent the entire Dublin community. It seems as though some of you have forgotten that. And now we have paid the ultimate price – Dr. Marken is leaving us a year early. We are without a captain once again. And to our sadness, he was irreplaceable.

So where do we go from here? Every staff member I have spoken with is devastated. The uncertainty and fear regarding Fall was already looming over us and now this. We are scared, lost, and confused about the future. The cloud that looms over us has gotten larger, darker, and more terrifying. Many staff will soon leave, but many of us will stay because Dublin is our home and these students are OUR students. We won’t go down without a fight. They are worth everything we have.

So I ask you – why are you here? Why did you run for this office? Are you really here for the students, for the staff, for this entire community? Or are you here for you and a small group of your friends? Are you ready to do the work that is needed to move forward and rebuild our broken district? That might mean you have to put your own agenda to the side and see the greater good. It means that sometimes valuing your staff is more important than the bottom line. If this isn’t for you, fine. Feel free to resign and allow someone else to fill your seat. But if you are here to stay, it’s time to do the work. It’s time to rebuild everything you have broken, starting with trust. Not just trust with the staff, but also with parents and students. And I will be incredibly honest with you, that will be a long, hard road ahead. I hope for all of our sakes that you are ready to take this on, and if not, are willing to step aside. The future of DUSD depends on it.

Sincerely,
Erin DeMartini
Program Specialist, DUSD
Parent, DUSD

and

Trustees Cherrier, Blackman and Kuo,

There are no words to adequately express my feelings right now except one – disappointment; deep, agonizing disappointment! Disappointment in your leadership and your leadership style. Disappointment in many of your decisions. Disappointment in how you have navigated so many things recently. Disappointment in you. Those words should sting, they are meant to.

There is a quote that says, “Don’t blame people for disappointing you, blame yourself for expecting too much from them.” I think this is true. We simply expected too much of you.

We expected you to see our entire district, not just your areas.
We expected you to advocate for all students in the district, not just the ones whose parents had your ear.
We expected you to listen to your district office staff, the experts and your leadership teams, not your anecdotal experiences or social media.
We expected you to listen to teachers, to talk to them, to respond to them and believe in them, not just treat them like an obstacle.
We expected you to be a bridge in our community, not a wedge.
We expected you to know what is fair and what is not in a district that has widely varying wants.
We expected you to think critically and do research rather than working our district staff to the bone.
We expected you to have a growth mindset rather than a fixed one. A board with a growth mindset believes that through hard work, good strategies, and input from others we can do anything.
We expected you to be model leaders, ones we would be proud to watch in a meeting.
We expected you to take care of us and our district, rather than your own agendas.
We expected you to build trust.
We expected you to be effective.
We expected you to be insightful.
We expected you to see what was right in front of you and recognize its value rather than being so myopic that we lost the one thing that was holding us all together.
Yes, it is our fault. We expected too much of you.
The saddest part of all of this is you probably do not yet understand the magnitude of what you have done nor do you understand how you got here. It is not our job to teach you, but know that the Dublin community has lost faith in your leadership and we have lost the hope that Dr. Marken instilled in all of us!

Catherine Brown
Stay in place. Cover your face. Give six feet of space.
Catherine Brown
First Grade Teacher
Frederiksen Elementary

and

Dear Board of Trustees,

First off, to trustees, Miller and Rouse, thank you for your continued support of the entire DUSD community. It was evident in your demeanor and even tears at times that you are mourning this loss as much as the rest of the community. I thank you for always standing for what is right and keeping the true meaning of DUSD in your minds and hearts.

Last night as the news came out about Dr. Marken resigning, I was in utter disbelief and had no words. In the light of day, I have many thoughts and feelings that reflect disgust in the actions of trustees Blackman, Kuo, and President Cherrier. Your actions and behavior over the past three months especially, has been morally repugnant.

To be clear my disgust is not just about your refusal to approve the tentative agreement. Over the last three months, during a global pandemic, you questioned Dr. Marken every step of the way. He knows how to run a school district as evidenced by his many years of experience. Furthermore, you are the ones who brought him back and said he had your complete faith. You certainly didn’t show that faith to him or the rest of the district.

We had finally started to heal after the disaster of Leslie Boozer and now, I fear that we are being plunged into a deeper hole than we were in after the wake of her two-year stint. I expect the repercussions of your actions to have a serious impact over the next year or so. I grew up in the Pleasanton Unified School District and chose Dublin 8 years ago because I believed it was superior, sadly, I no longer feel this way.

I wish that I still lived in Dublin so that I could vote in the upcoming election for the board of trustees. However, as stated in previous emails we have had to fight for a living wage the majority of my tenure in Dublin. Therefore, five years ago I had to move out of Dublin as I could no longer afford the rent and certainly couldn’t afford to buy a home. We have teachers that are required to travel an hour or more to and from work because they can’t afford to live in the area.

Where are your priorities? If students come first, then why are you ok with the fact that the majority of your teachers no longer have faith or trust in the board majority. A public comment last night mentioned that sending mail to you was a form of bullying, I completely disagree as it is a first amendment right. In fact, the real bullies here are trustees Blackman, Kuo, and President Cherrier. I truly hope you realize the enormity of your behavior over the last 3 months.

Deeply Saddened and Dejected,
Allison Tomcik

Ms. Allison Tomcik
3rd Grade Teacher – J2
Site Educational Technology Coach
Kolb Elementary School

and

Dear President Cherrier, Trustee Kuo, and Trustee Blackman,

I need to add my voice to the many who are crying out with disdain over your “leadership” lately in the Dublin Unified School District. Because of you, we have lost a true leader who was taking us out of the darkest time in our district in recent history. I have just completed my 25th year teaching, all of them spent in the DUSD. The couple of years prior to the arrival of Dr. Marken were dark. Morale was low and schools were suffering from a revolving door of leadership in administration. The along came Dave Marken, and our collective spirits were lifted almost immediately. He is a true leader, and someone who cares about all of the students, teachers, and families in Dublin.

Driving him away will have far reaching consequences to our district, and I am fearful for the future.

With all of the unrest that has existed due to Covid-19, I have been watching board meetings and paying a lot of attention to decisions being made. From the get-go of the shelter in place, the three of you have challenged almost every decision that was made by our leadership. It has been very clear to me that you three “walk” into board meetings with your minds already made up about many agenda items. You completely ignore the advice of the district staff on many issues, and this kind of treatment was bound to drive Dr. Marken away. You have a set agenda and the good of the students in DUSD is not considered. Two weeks ago you voted to discontinue a contract on principle. After the three of you voted not to renew the contract, another board member asked some key questions that brought to light that your agenda regarding contract extensions was going to cost the district potentially millions of dollars. How did you not know that ahead of time? Why did someone else have to educate you on the consequences of your vote? Luckily, you agreed to a revote and fixed your error. This was just one example of a continuing issue with you three. (The pass/fail vote during shelter in place and the TA rejection are two others) You have only your interests in mind, with no regard for how your interests will affect the district.

Your leadership is in question, and you have a lot to answer for. Our district will suffer from the departure of Dave Marken, and I will hold the three of you personally responsible for what lies ahead. Shame on you. Open your eyes and ears to the counsel of your staff. You are not experts in education. Education is not a business. You have a lot to learn. Make some changes and try to right some wrongs. The students of the Dublin Unified School District deserve it.

With much frustration,

Andrea Bloom

and

Dear Trustees Cherrier, Blackman, and Kuo,

Though this email is being sent to all the school board members it is specifically directed at the three of you. I find it very difficult to address you three board members as “Trustees” because I utterly cannot trust you. What is your role as a “trustee?” I decided to take a look at the California School Board Association to see what your role truly should be and what your responsibilities are. After reading, I have decided that this board, specifically the three of you do not truly understand what your responsibilities are. So let me remind what your five major responsibilities are and give you example after example how you did not follow them.

  • Set the direction of public school in the community by having a long-term vision: What is the vision of this board? We have a mission statement that only Trustee Rouse seems to know, but if most of you don’t even know the mission statement which you are reminded of time after time, I am sure you don’t know what our vision is? According to CSBA, “The vision reflects the consensus of the entire board, the superintendent and district staff, and the community as to what the students need in order to achieve their highest potential.” Have you listened to the consensus of the superintendent and district staff? If you had, our Superintendent would not have resigned yesterday and 95% of your teachers would not have voted to move in the direction of a strike. Look at our goals under the same link. Your only focus is the third goal. What happened to improving student outcomes and supporting a highly effective staff. I think you have lost focus.
  • Establishing and effective and efficient structure: According to CSBA, “the board is responsible for establishing and maintaining an organizational structure that supports the district’s/ COE’s vision and empowers the professional staff.” I like the word “empowers” in that statement, but does our board understand what it means. My job is to educate children and believe in them. This will empower them to go after their dreams. Your job is to believe in the educator so that we can support them. Instead you thrive on “power” and “control.” What you are thriving on has led us to dysfunction, distrust and a district without Superintendent Marken who was leading us in a direction to open school this fall where everyone, students, staff and parents felt safe. That direction is most likely out the window.
  • Providing Support: CSBA indicates, “Through its behavior and actions, the board has a responsibility to support the superintendent and staff as they implement the established vision. This involves:
    • acting with a professional demeanor that models the district’s/COE’s beliefs and vision; › making decisions and providing resources that support mutually agreed upon priorities and goals;
    • upholding district/COE bylaws and policies the board has approved;
    • ensuring a positive personnel climate exists*; and
    • being knowledgeable enough about district/COE efforts to explain them to the public.”

Let me remind you of the keywords here…. “Responsibility to support the superintendent and staff.” The three of you on this school board did not. Through your actions and behavior you have not supported the best superintendent this district has had in a very long time. Dave Marken came back to this district, at your request, with an understanding that the board believed in his direction, though time after time this board has undermined him. There is no professionalism on your part, you go back on agreements, we certainly have not had a positive personnel climate, and you have been hiding behind your hidden agenda since the three of you have been part of this board. The three of you have not supported the staff and ensured a “positive personnel climate.” What collaboration and focus staff had with this board died completely last night when you let Superintendent Marken resign.

  • Ensuring accountability to the public: According to CSBA, “the board represents the community and is accountable to the public for the performance of the schools in the community” including the evaluation of the superintendent. As far as financial responsibility, the district is sitting well with 24% in reserves when the state requirement is 3%, and yet year after year the district indicates that they cannot afford to help teachers with medical benefits. Year after year DUSD budgets itself as if it is going to have a deficit, though the district has not had a deficit since 2008. And with regards to the superintendent, you are all “power” hungry and wanted to “micromanage” everything he did and your actions led him with no choice but to resign.
  • Demonstrating community leadership: According to CSBA, “as the only locally elected officials chosen solely to represent the interests of students, board members have
    • understands the distinctions between board and staff roles, and refrains from performing management functions that are the responsibility of the superintendent and staff; and
    • understands that authority rests with the board as a whole and not with individuals
    • take collective responsibility for the board’s performance”

Ask yourself if you refrained from performing management functions that were the responsibility of the superintendent? I don’t think you did when you denied giving Superintendent Marken authority during the pandemic, which would have allowed him to make decisions without your authority.

According to CSBA, you are supposed to evaluate “its own effectiveness through board self-evaluation.” I think it is time to self-reflect and evaluate. Dave Marken was providing a pathway as to how we were going to get back to school in the fall and you have ruined everything. We have no leadership, no direction as to how this is supposed to happen now. We already had more than enough uncertainty with no teacher agreement and Covid cases on the rise. Now you have just added to the uncertainty. Why? You did not have to let him leave, but it was pretty obvious that the three of you do not share the same feelings of sadness towards the loss of Superintendent Marken.

I believe if you read this article, Mercury News, regarding our district along with what your responsibilities are truly supposed to be as a “Trustee”, and reflect on your actions, you will know how your actions have led us to where we are today. I believe you will also realize that you need to change or if you cannot, then you realize it is time for you to step down. Let someone who really wants to work collaboratively together with the superintendent, the district and its staff to move this district forward with a true vision that supports students and the community. I believe this is the only way you can re-establish the lost trust.

Best Regards,

Jeanne Morgan
Dublin High School Science Teacher

and

To the Dublin Unified School Board:

I wanted to start my letter with a huge thank you to Trustee Miller and Trustee Rouse. I can not articulate enough how grateful I am for your support of Dublin staff, families, and most importantly, your support for Dublin students. During these uncertain times, the support of some of our board members means more than you know. Thank you.

To President Cherrier, and Trustees Blackman and Kuo, I have one question; why? Why would you choose now, during a global pandemic, economic downfall, and unprecedented school closures to decide to withdrawal your support from your staff, families, and students? Why now, after DUSD teachers turned on a dime to take learning from face to face interactions in our classrooms to completely online, practically overnight, would you decide that we’re not worth it? Our tentative agreement was more than just a raise; it was so much more for your staff and students. We bargained in good faith just to have you “change your minds”. It’s shameful and disgraceful.

When Dr. Dave Marken started, I was incredibly excited. Our district was a disaster after Dr. Boozer left, and I was exceedingly optimistic to have Dr. Marken. His calm, easy going nature made him enjoyable to work with, and his evident love for his job and community were beyond appreciated. I know the majority of DUSD was ecstatic to have him back. Things were going so well, despite everything going on in the world. And now, because of the actions (or inactions) of the three of you, Dr. Dave Marken has resigned. Resigned with no clear path for our district’s future during a pandemic. I do not fault Dr. Marken, in fact, I whole heartily support his decision. He has been undermined every step of the way, and he did what he needed to do. It’s incredibly disappointing that your actions have driven away the best thing to happen to DUSD since I started here several years ago.

While we can not change the past, we can change the future. I am imploring you to change your vote on our tentative agreement. The tentative agreement we all bargained for.
The tentative agreement that was ratified with a 99 percent approval from DTA members. The tentative agreement that would bring positive progress to the district we all love and care about. Please do not undo the last year and a half of progress this district has made under Dr. Marken. Please vote in the best interest of your staff, families, and students of Dublin. We ALL deserve it.

Sincerely,

Erin Blakley
Amador Elementary

and

I’m sure you won’t read this letter, but I’ve gone ahead and copied various reporters and stakeholders in our community- perhaps they’ll read it and take action.

The harm you have done to our school district in the last few weeks is astonishing. Dublin’s schools were just beginning to recover from the disastrous leadership of 2018-19, and you have managed to destroy that progress (while we are in the midst of preparing to teach during a pandemic). You have driven out the superintendent you hired to repair our community, alienated your workforce by refusing to sign the contract you proffered to the teachers, and set the stage for a disastrous start to school in seven weeks.

I think I’m most surprised by the parallels in your decision-making with the decisions being made by President Trump. I thought that in our community we respected science, that we looked at data, and that we trusted the experts we hired to make difficult recommendations. Apparently, I was wrong. Just as surely as the current presidential administration has defunded scientific research and eliminated expert advisors in order to maintain the ego of a narcissist and to promote a toxic culture of corruption and greed, your hubris in disregarding expert recommendations to maintain your own shallow political ideologies will bring ruin to our community.

As I watched the livestream of Tuesday’s Board meeting, I was particularly struck by a moment at the end. Several trustees were confused and had questions about a simple ballot matter, but your entire executive cabinet had left the meeting. Without their advice, you couldn’t figure out what to do. What makes you think that you know better than your expert advisors when it comes to teacher’s contracts, educational funding, or how we will educate our students during this crisis if you don’t even have a sufficient grasp on a procedural vote?

I wish I had a call to action for you here, but I’m honestly at a loss for what you should do. If a student in my class were to rip up another student’s work, it would be a disciplinary matter that would involve phone calls to parents and visits to the principal’s office. There isn’t really an equivalent here, other than your destruction of other people’s work.

I hope that you will have the good sense to listen to the experts you have left. I hope you will have the decency to resign in shame. I hope that if nothing else you will have learned to hold your narcissism in check when making decisions that affect the children, parents, and teachers of your community.

Sincerely,

Noel Sollom
Teacher, Dublin High School

and

Dublin Board of Trustees,

We lost a great leader this week. It saddens me that Dr. Marken left our district.

His focus was what is best for ALL of OUR DUSD students.
His authenticity, patience, communication style, and understanding of what DUSD could be, will be missed greatly.

The board members who seemed to have pushed him out should be ashamed of themselves for not trusting Dr. Marken’s intentions and his leadership. It seems to come from a desire to have power and NOT what is the best for OUR students. I hope the following board members, Cherrier, Blaackman, and Kuo, take time to reflect and listen, really listen, to other people with various viewpoints to see we need to make decisions based on what ALL OUR students need, not just those from our school or boundary.

Thank you Miller and Rouse for always taking into account what ALL DUSD students need and for trusting Dr. Marken’s expertise and leadership.

Candace Whites

and

To Trustees Cherrier, Blackman and Kuo,

My name is Anna Kim and I have been a teacher at Dublin High School for the last 16 years and just finished my 3rd year as the Math Dept chair. DHS was my first job and for those of you who know anything about me, you would know that I put my heart and soul and an endless amount of hours into what I do for my students and for my dept. Year after year, our dept has continued to say “next year will be better” yet it somehow just keeps getting worse and worse. We had a horrible year BUT we were still somehow in good spirits believing that we could get through this pandemic. That was because of the great leadership from the top down. Dr. Marken led by example and often reminded us to show compassion in times like these. Watching him lead our district inspired me to work just as hard to become a better leader for my dept.

Did I agree with every decision made by Dr. Marken? No. It is nearly impossible to make decisions that the entire staff will agree upon. However, Dr. Marken had my respect and I trusted that his decisions were made based on the right intentions. He had 30+ years of expertise in this profession compared to my 16 years. I trusted that he knew better. How many years of experience in education do you have that would warrant questioning and not trusting someone with 30+ years under his belt especially during times like these? We as educators have an agenda to look out for the best interest of ALL of their students and I do believe that some of the Board members can see the whole picture. But it is apparent that the majority of this Board does not. What is your agenda?

I’m angry. I’m sad. I’m completely dumbfounded and cannot process that this is now our reality with the start of school right around the corner. Do you have ANY idea how hard it is to lead a group of educators during a pandemic while somehow being able to instill hope that everything will be OK? I was motivated to do whatever it would take to teach our kids. But today, I feel extremely hopeless on what this next year will look like. It makes me question why I am killing myself working in education and makes me want to throw in the towel as well. This sense of “we are all in this together for the kids no matter how difficult it gets” that Dr. Marken was able to instill in the staff has now been shattered. I have NO idea how this can even be repaired at this point. I ask that you take any and all action possible to right this wrong, although, I’m uncertain what that would look like because the damage has been done. Just when I think that 2020 couldn’t possibly get any worse. This is UNBELIEVABLE.

From a very frustrated teacher,
Anna Kim

and

Good morning, board members.

Before I begin, I want to say a HUGE thank you to Amy Miller and Megan Rouse for having DTA’s backs in a major way. You both spoke eloquently, powerfully, and incredibly honestly. DTA notices you and appreciates you beyond what words could accurately express.

As for Cherrier, Blackman, and Kuo, I am incredibly disappointed by the lack of good leadership that you three have brought to our district. You brought us a Tentative Agreement on April 23, well into this crisis, just to take it away from us two weeks ago. You dangled the carrot, got everyone on board with 99% ratification by DTA, and then said never mind! It actually makes me sick to my stomach.

When Dr. Marken took the position as interim Superintendent, it was the BEST thing to happen to our district in a LONG time. Blackman and Kuo, I know you were not on the board at the time we negotiated last, but it was UGLY and it’s absolutely devastating to feel like we are on that path yet again. I don’t think you fully understand the massive repercussions your actions are going to have on not only the teachers and students, but also on the health of the district as a whole.

Do you realize that when we get to this unsupported state in the bargaining process, we stop doing ALL extras in support of students and teachers? Work to rule hurts us as teachers, our students, school morale, and district morale. But you have left us no choice. We have to fight for what is right for students and teachers even though it’s so difficult to step back from the lengths we all go as teachers to give our students everything we have.

Do you realize that 95% of DTA members have said YES, I am willing to strike? Do you comprehend the cost that will have on the district, not just in a morale sense, but FINANCIALLY as well? You would really rather lose tons of money from students not attending school during strike and paying subs rather than give it to your own hard-working, hand selected staff members?! That is sickening and a COMPLETE waste of resources.

Do you realize that funding is not being cut and the district CAN afford what was presented in the TA on April 23? How many times do you have to be told it is possible for you to believe it? You want to keep upwards of 24% in the Fund 1 and Fund 17 reserves when you are only required by law to have 3%?!

And do you understand the lengths teachers had to go through as of March 13 to adjust to an almost entirely new job? We did not become teachers to have our instruction be taught via the internet. We became teachers because we love the face-to-face interaction with our students and being able to give them our all in the classroom. Many of us had to completely re-train ourselves to do the job we already knew how to do and you don’t even want to acknowledge that monetarily. You just want to tell us “Good job. We appreciate you.” Well guess what, we DON’T believe you!

Do you realize that we had come SO FAR in the last fourteen months and with a quick “No,” you completely ruined every ounce of progress made by Dr. Marken? Our district was in shambles post Boozer, absolute shambles. I would go home each day from a career that I absolutely love and students that I adore feeling defeated, unsupported, and unvalued. As soon as Dr. Marken came, there was a calming hush over the whole district. We finally had hope again and the three of you have taken that from every single one of us. You have forced him to walk away before he was finished with his work. Dave’s great gift to this district was that he kept ALL Dublin students in mind at ALL times. He didn’t favor one subset over another. You should be ashamed and embarrassed.

Although the loss of Dr. Marken can not be changed, I sincerely hope you will reconsider your vote so that we do not continue down this rabbit hole. Please restore the trust that Dr. Marken brought to our district by supporting students and staff with a call for a special board meeting and a “Yes” vote on our TA. We need a school board that can do the same: see ALL Dublin students, and fight for ALL of them equally.

Thank you for your time.
Sincerely,

M Veronica Palma
Dublin High School

and

Trustees Cherrier, Blackman and Kuo:

I have worked in Dublin for over 15 years, as a preschool teacher and an elementary teacher at Frederiksen. I have a niece and a nephew in DUSD schools. Needless to say, my dedication and commitment to this district is both a professional and a personal matter.

I have been a part of the DUSD teaching community for 10+ years and have witnessed good leadership, poor leadership and excellent leadership displayed by various superintendents. Dave Marken was a cut above the rest. A dedicated leader who kept his word, advocated for teachers, and more importantly for students and families. He came out of retirement and successfully pulled our DUSD community back together after a turbulent season that put teachers and administrators at odds with one another. You had one of the best superintendents available anywhere. Teachers outside of Dublin knew we had something to be envied. His leadership and transparency is what fixed our broken district. I was horrified to see that you drove away the person most essential to DUSD in navigating the myriad of challenges it is facing moving forward in the 2020-2021 school year. We needed his leadership moving forward, but due to your lack of support and trust, our leader is GONE. I blame you for the dumpster fire of a year we will surely have if you do not choose to give up your seat.

No one with abilities anywhere near Dr. Marken’s is going to agree to subject him/herself to the toxic environment you have created. In your time on the school board you have made many poor decisions, fostered division, and needlessly dragged out board meetings with mindless points and questions. However, this latest transgression is far beyond what I can tolerate. You have dimmed the future of this school district and the education of our kids due to your narrow thinking and stubborn inaction.

The best thing you can do for this community now is to immediately resign from the board. Resign so that we can begin to process and rebuild upon the foundation that Marken put into place. Your foundation is sinking sand and if you choose to stay, it will come at the cost of the community we love so dearly. The only way we can move forward without adding insult to injury is without you. You can no longer block the progress that we were starting to see, even during this unprecedented and historical time.

If you do not resign, I will do everything within my power during the next election to ensure that you three can no longer misuse your authority. With great power comes great responsibility and your responsibility was to, in good faith, be the voice of the community. Well, the community is rising up in opposition. Do you hear us? The only positive created by your latest misdeed: you have galvanized me and many other previously quietly concerned citizens to take action to save our district from you.

2nd Grade Teacher @ DUSD

and

Hello Board Members,

To Mrs Rouse and Mrs Miller, thank you for always being there. I am sure you two are extremely saddened by what happened last week. I wanted to take my time on responding to Dr. Marken’s extremely sad news, his resignation. To the three board members that caused this, as I stated in my email following your continual use of “No” to everything that the community, teachers, students, and every DUSD stakeholder has brought to the board your constant use of “No” has finally brought about the first tragic consequence—the loss of the best superintendent this school district has had!

As I stated in my previous email, this is only
one of the many consequences that are coming to Dublin because of your constant use of the word “No”. If this continues, Dublin unified will no longer be one of the best of the Bay Area, it will be one of the worst, and this will all be caused because of three people constantly saying no!

Katherine Kuo, as many have said you have the potential to be like Mrs Miller and Mrs Rouse, a respected board member and community member. Many have said that they see potential in you and it was your vote that swung the grading policy last time. I do believe that you have it in you to begin to listen to the community and start making decisions that will actually benefit the school district, however, if you continue to say “No” I do not see this school district being one that you would want your child to be in anymore, so try to consider what is actually beneficial to ALL students, teachers, and stakeholders prior to voting! Unfortunately, it might be too late for your child, because the consequences of losing Dr. Marken are going to be HUGE! What “good” superintendent would want to come to Dublin knowing that the board will constantly block them and undermine them? None that will benefit your child’s future!

To the other two “No’s”, I honestly have no other words for you, but instead I have a congratulations for you because I feel you have finally gotten what you have always wanted, to make Dublin a district that no one looks forward to being in anymore. Good luck filling positions at the future high school now! However, if turning Dublin unified into a horrible district was not your goal, then start listening to the majority of your stakeholders and start making good decisions, otherwise, you will make all of my predictions, and then some come true and truly turn Dublin Unified into one of the worst districts in the Bay Area.

With sadness of losing Dr. Marken,

Adam Brown
DHS Engineering Department Chair

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Lisa permalink
    June 24, 2020 3:04 pm

    I just retired after 15 years of giving my heart and soul to DUSD. I lived in Dublin for 56 years and could not take what we were being delt anymore. My health was suffering. I made the decision to sell my home just so I could retire. Three of the board members made it impossible for us to get anything done and approved . The amount of work was just an impossible hill to climb. It can’t be accomplish. It is the very definition of insanity. You try week , after week and give it your all so you can meet the three members unreasonable demands. NO matter how many hours we put into the items and try to meet what they wanted, frankly this was never enough for them. They would find fault with everything. They are littlerly running staff into the ground. Congratulations you three on your accomplishments that yet another employee, excellent leader, and someone that all staff believed in, you managed to take this also away from my beloved Dublin. Megan and Amy are the only Board members who support and show us that they do care by attending our C S EA events and will publicly acknowledge saying they appreciate all our work.
    You both are two diamonds left in the BIG pile of burning ash.

  2. George permalink
    June 25, 2020 9:31 pm

    It says no personal attacks permitted, yet you post a bunch of one-sided letters attacking the 3 newest board members in very crude manner.

    • June 25, 2020 9:38 pm

      That applies to comments sent privately – these are already public record as they have been sent to the Trustees and to local media. We’re publishing all the letters received. If you have a different viewpoint and would like it published here send to the Trustees and copy us and we’ll add.

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