Weed Union Elementary School District trustees accepted the resignation of Tag Pimentel as WES principal last Wednesday and appointed him to the position of Community Day School teacher and Alternative Educational Coordinator.

Weed Union Elementary School District trustees accepted the resignation of Tag Pimentel as WES principal last Wednesday and appointed him to the position of Community Day School teacher and Alternative Educational Coordinator.  

The action was reported out of closed session during the special board meeting. No action was taken concerning the last closed session item listed as “Personnel.”

The meeting adjourned at about 10 p.m. Superintendent Gary Lampella and trustee Michael Carpine were absent.  Board president Deborah Goltz and trustees Jeff Repass and John Gaustad were present. Tim Frisbie participated in the closed session via phone conference. Superintendent-to-be effective Aug. 1, Kathy Emerson, was also there. Four parents/Cub Power members attended the meeting along with CSCA chapter president Shanna Machado.

Before the board adjourned to closed session, Mike Duchi, who said he’s had children in WES for seven years, read a prepared statement expressing his disapproval “concerning the recent events leading to the resignation of Mr. Pimentel.”

Duchi said since Pimentel’s arrival “there’s been quite an obvious and positive change in the general atmosphere of the school and the people that attend.” Duchi said Pimentel’s interaction with the students is amazing to watch, and he knows each student by their first name.

“He has earned the respect and admiration of many parents and staff alike.”

Duchi said he joined Cub Power because of  Pimentel’s leadership and it was with Pimentel’s hard work that Cub Power parents were “able to resurrect the ailing organization and make some stunning accomplishments in just one year.”

Duchi acknowledged that “there are and will always be, probably, many unanswered questions surrounding Mr. Pimentel’s resignation.” He said, “I have only one for the board: Who or what was the driving force behind this decision? It seems obvious that this shift in administration is not in the best interest of the children. With that said, the only logical conclusion is that of a hidden agenda being implemented. We, as a school, cannot allow personal grievances to guide decisions regarding policies.”  

Duchi went on to say that he would reconsider his involvement in the parents’ group and felt he couldn’t give his “time, effort and money to a school governed by a board making self-serving decisions.”

Duchi concluded saying “there is a simple litmus test that decisions by a board of trustees should be measured: Do your decisions and conduct reflect those in the best interest of the children?”  

In response to Duchi, Goltz said, “Our hands are tied as far as what we can respond.”

In a phone interview after the meeting, Goltz said that in matters of personnel the board is not at liberty to openly discuss anything.

During the board’s closed session, parents said Pimentel’s resignation took them by surprise and that they agreed with Duchi’s statements. They said Cub Power has concerns over the principal’s resignation and the events leading up to it.

Cub Power treasurer Alisa Scholberg, who wasn’t at the meeting, said later, “Without (the board’s) ability to speak openly, it feels like the situation has been handled very secretively. There are too many questions left open. We don’t understand. And because the board can’t be open about this, how do we know that something wasn’t being done that was inappropriate.”

Goltz said she is “pleased (Pimentel) is still with the district. I think he is an amazing teacher. I would place my kids with him in a heartbeat.”

Lampella said during a follow-up phone interview, “I think (Pimentel) will be a real support to the district to facilitate the home independent study program, home to hospital and in school suspension program. He’ll be facilitating the entire CDS (Community Day School) entering and exiting process.”

Lampella said that Pimentel is “a good communicator. He’s a positive person in general. I think he’ll do a good job in his new position.”

Asked his feelings Tuesday morning, Pimentel said, “I’m comfortable with where I’m going.”

Goltz explained that Emerson was invited to the meeting as a professional courtesy, and she did not participate in discussions or decisions made during closed session. She was there as an “observer,” Goltz said.

Goltz’s response to why Carpine wasn’t at the meeting was that he “wasn’t able to make the meeting.” Goltz said she is not legally able to clarify or comment on what the other personnel item was that was being addressed in closed session.

Another special meeting is scheduled for tonight at 5:30 p.m. in the WES library. An agenda item that deals with the appointment of  a principal is scheduled as a closed session item.