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CUSD management shuffle to take place
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A number of administrative staffing positions will be left vacant in the 2009-10 school year within the Ceres Unified School District out of budget considerations.

"Critical staff positions will have to go unfilled until the budget crisis ends and the state begins to adequately fund our schools," said CUSD Supt. Walt Hanline. "My deepest hope and prayer is that we will not have to face the major cuts in our budget that are predicted. Make no mistake; we are prepared to take appropriate action, when the state finally approves a budget that is true and real. Until then we will continue to be conservative in limiting our spending to those areas that are essential to the mission we are facing."

The biggest management personnel change includes the retirement of Bob Palous as principal of Ceres High School. He is being replaced by Linda Stubbs, who is currently associate principal.

"Mr. Palous has been focused on building a transition to the future that will allow CHS to continue to improve and become a truly great high school," said Hanline.

Stubbs was recruited to CUSD from a group of students that Hanline taught at CSUS.

"She is a very bright and hard working leader who will build upon the foundation blocks left by Mr. Palous."

Palous will work with CUSD, on a part-time basis as a Coordinator of Athletics and in coaching up-and-coming new administrators.

Stubbs will be replaced by Lonnie Cornell, who has worked at Mae Hensley Junior High, and most recently as assistant principal at Ceres High.

The assistant principal position occupied by Cornell will remain vacant until the budget crisis is over, said Hanline.

Also retiring is Vicky Miller, principal of Carroll Fowler Elementary School. She will be replaced by Bruce Clifton, who most recently served as assistant director of Educational Options. Clifton's position will be replaced by Sharon Brittain who is assistant principal at Caswell Elementary. Mrs. Brittain has been a lead teacher in the After School Program and is very familiar with the work of her new role. Due to the budget crisis, CUSD is leaving vacant the half District funded assistant principal position at Caswell.

Cheri Gibson is retiring as principal of Don Pedro Elementary and will replaced by Rick Hall. He has held a district office role as coordinator of Projects and Assessment. That position will remain unfilled, said Hanline.

"Rick ... misses the kids and he misses the opportunity of working directly, on a day to day basis, with the teachers who make a difference in the lives of our students," said Hanline.

Longtime CUSD administrator Jerry Pannella is also retiring from his position of director of Special Education on June 30. CUSD is recruiting from candidates statewide.

"Jerry has been a rock of experience and support that I will never be able to find in someone else," said Hanline. "He is a very bright and caring leader who will be missed by all of us."

Another big change at the district office is Dr. Fred Van Vleck leaving the position of assistant superintendent of Business. He will be replaced by Debra Bukko who is currently principal of Blaker Kinser Junior High School.

Kristi Britton will become the new principal of the Blaker Kinser. To do so, she is leaving her position of Central Valley High associate principal. Laura Fong is taking Britton's place at CVHS. Fong is currently in an associate principal role at CVHS. That post is not being filled until the budget crisis is over.

Britton joined CUSD as the learning director of Central Valley High, and most recently filled the role of associate principal of Central Valley High School.

"We know that building blocks are strong and that Mrs. Britton will bring strong leadership to leading Blaker-Kinser Junior High," said Hanline.