HAYWARD SCHOOL BOARD | Hayward’s new Superintendent, Stan Dobbs, claims he never dropped out of the superintendent race in a recent interview with the East Bay Citizen at the July 24 board meeting despite evidence that proves otherwise. Dobbs blatantly told The Citizen that “I don’t know anything about this pulling out,” even though Dobbs own legal counsel contacted the Hayward school board’s legal counsel in June citing “harassment” as reason enough for him to seek work elsewhere.
When pressed further, citing an email from the school board’s legal counsel, Mary T. Hernandez, to the Hayward school board that references Dobbs receiving “harassing phone calls, leaks of confidential information and damaging erroneous information,” Dobbs shot back with “You don’t have an email from me saying ‘I’m pulling out.’”
However, the email clearly states Dobbs’ intention to pull his name from consideration just days before the school board approved his one-year contract. “I just received a call from Mr. Dobbs’ legal counsel,” wrote Hernandez. “She told me that he is withdrawing as a candidate and is no longer interested in the position. I asked her if there was any way to change his mind, did he want to make a counteroffer, etc.? She said no, because of the ‘harassment’ he has been experiencing.”
When reminded of these facts, Dobbs refused to continue discussing the topic further and instead tried to change discussion. “There are so many things going on in the district that we can talk about and make change. I really would like a discussion on those kind of things.” Dobbs, in an effort to further avoid questions, said positive discussion was needed.
On other topics Dobbs was asked to talk about former Superintendent Donald Evans and what positive and negative actions he made and what he would do differently than Evans. Dobbs kept his answer short, praised Evans, and then ended the interview in the middle of a follow up question claiming he needed to speak to his constituents. Dobbs worked under Evans at the Hayward Unified School District up until last November when Dobbs took a position with the San Diego Unified School District.
The email penned by the school board’s legal counsel also refers to The Citizen, albeit without directly naming this publication. The “harassing” phone calls referred to The Citizen questioning Dobbs about his resume and his Stanford Executive Certificate which a contracted law firm claimed he did not have in a short phone interview on June 13. These findings were later proved erroneous when board member and Dobbs supporter, John Taylor, finally produced evidence of Dobbs’ certificate more than a week later.
But in between that time Dobbs had dropped out of the race, claiming harassment but also, according to other inside sources, wanted a larger contract similar to former Superintendent Donald Evans. Dobbs’s actions to cut loose appeared to influence some board members, such as Taylor and board member Lisa Brunner to argue for a larger contract which he received at a tune of $229,000.
Shortly after the interview, the board president, William McGee, confirmed to The Citizen that the entire board did receive an email stating that Dobbs had pulled out. Also, board member Luis Reynoso says he received the email as well from Hernandez.
Despite his clear reticence in taking the job as interim superintendent, Dobbs said during his first meeting two weeks ago that he wishes to focus on math to improve critical thinking and analytic thought. He also promised to tackle the “32 percent who did not graduate last year” and called it his “32 Plan.” He also wants to place greater focus on intervention, credit recovery and direct counsel and services to at risk students and families.
Shane Bond is an East Bay Citizen contributor. Follow him on Twitter @Shane_Bond_