2006-09-29 / Community

District hires interim superintendent

By Michelle Knight knight@theacorn.com

A NEW STYLE-During a light moment, Ken Moffett,  recently named interim  superintendent of  the  Pleasant Valley  School District,  takes time out to add music  to  his  photograph. Moffett  has  nearly  50  years  of experience in education. A NEW STYLE-During a light moment, Ken Moffett, recently named interim superintendent of the Pleasant Valley School District, takes time out to add music to his photograph. Moffett has nearly 50 years of experience in education. Ken Moffett started work Monday as interim superinten- dent of the Pleasant Valley School District.

The board of trustees unani- mously approved hiring Moffett, who has 23 years experience as a school superintendent, at the meeting last week-one week af- ter his predecessor, Tom Dase, left for a post in Northern Cali- fornia.

Board President Ron Speakman said Moffett was cho- sen from among 20 or so people on a list of recommended candi- dates provided by the Ventura County Office of Education.

"Because he had every quali- fication that we needed," Speakman said. "He came highly recommended, and we have five board members that could agree."

By the time Moffett retired as superintendent of the Lennox El- ementary School District in 1996, he'd already chalked up 20 years as top administrator of that dis- trict and another in the Los An- geles area. He also taught full time for a number of years at Pepperdine University and Cal State University, Dominguez Hills.

Since retiring, the Hollywood Beach resident has become a sort of pinch-hitter for school districts that have lost their lead educator. Over the last eight years, he's served as interim superintendent or assistant superintendent to seven districts, including Somis Union, Simi Valley Unified and Oak Park Unified.

Moffett began his career in education in 1957, serving in teaching and administrative posi- tions at schools in Los Angeles and Germany. In 1970, he became a principal and three years later was promoted to assistant super- intendent. He was named super- intendent of the Lennox school district in 1976.

During his 49-year career, Moffett has collected numerous accolades and awards, among them the state and national title of Superintendent of the Year.

A Lennox elementary school bears his name, as well as several scholarship funds.

Accord- ing to his contract, the kindergarten t h r o u g h eighth grade district will pay Moffett $589.27 for each day of work. The rate includes a monthly vehicle al- lowance of $500 but does not pro- vide retirement or health benefits.

Speakman said Moffett will stay in the post until a permanent replacement is hired. The district will probably start the hiring pro- cess early next year. The largest pool of candidates generally be- comes available in February and March, he said.

"To look prior to that, we have been advised, is not a good idea," Speakman said. "I'm just anxious to help," Moffett said after the meeting, "because there are some big issues."

At last week's meeting, trust- ees agreed to discuss salary and benefits with the teachers union. Class size, teacher evaluations, job sharing and workday changes will also be negotiated by the Pleasant Valley Education Asso- ciation and the district.

District officials and union representatives follow an open and nontraditional method called Sunshine--a less adversarial, more collaborative approach-- when launching collective bar- gaining. The two sides met Sept. 15 and ap- proved a joint proposal-the contract items each wants on the negotiation table.

T h e board meeting last week served as a public hearing for the agreed-upon contract issues.

Assistant Superintendent Jan Maez said contract talks with the teachers union are scheduled to begin Oct. 16.

Bargaining, on the other hand, with the Service Employees In- ternational Union follows a more traditional vein. The service workers union notified the board at last week's meeting that it also wants to negotiate salary and ben- efits issues.

At the next school board meet- ing, the district is expected to out- line the items it wants negotiated.

For a copy of the contract ne- gotiation topics, call (805) 482- 2763.

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