Trustees candidate forum will be held on June 28 for potential board hopefuls
PASO ROBLES — Paso Robles Joint Unified School District met for a regular meeting on Tuesday, June 14. Board members and staff said goodbye to Deputy Superintendent Jennifer Gaviola, who is leaving Paso Robles for a position as Superintendent at Cayucos School District.
“Words cannot begin to describe what you meant to me and this district,” Superintendent Curt Dubost said. “We owe you a huge debt of gratitude, all of us, for keeping us afloat.”
At the end of the meeting, Gaviola gave her goodbyes to the district, thanking everyone she worked with through the years.
“Doctor Seuss said it best, ‘Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.’ And I am so happy it happened,” said Gaviola.
Additionally, the district approved the hire of Chuck Fiorentino as the interim assistant superintendent of human resources. Fiorentino previously worked in a similar position at Lucia Mar Unified School District. He will work as a consultant at the rate of $832 per day, not to exceed $49,000, as limited by his STRS retirement, until the position finds a permanent candidate.
On Tuesday, June 28, at 3:30 p.m. PRJUSD will be hosting a candidate forum for anyone interested in running for one of four open seats on the board for the 2022-23 school year. The forum will be held in the Paso Schools’ District Office Board Room at 800 Niblick Road.
PRJUSD will be participating in an active shooter training with Paso Robles Police Department and other North County emergency responders. The training will take place at Kermit King Elementary School on June 29.
Board Trustee Frank Triggs requested item I7 in the consent agenda to be pulled for separate discussion. Item I7 is the approval of updates to Board Policy 4030: Nondiscrimination in Employment, and Board Policy and Administrative Regulation 4141.6: Concerted Action/Work Stoppage.
The three-page policy came directly from California School Board Association (CSBA) with no alterations, according to Gaviola. The policy is an effort to show the district is in compliance with anti-discrimination laws at the state and federal levels.
Trustee Dorian Baker requested the same item be pulled and tabled for further discussion. Trustee Chris Bausch agreed with Baker and Triggs, saying there are portions of the policy that need to be explained further.
The policy reads:
No district employee shall be discriminated against or harassed by any coworker, supervisor, manager, or other person with whom the employee comes in contact in the course of employment, on the basis of the employee’s actual or perceived race, color, ancestry, national origin, age, religious creed, marital status, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, veteran or military status, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, or association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics.
Baker was concerned over what the genetic information meant and wanted further clarification. Gaviola responded, saying the genetic information piece comes from new technology that makes genetic information publicly available. According to Gaviola, its purpose is to protect potential employees from being discriminated against health issues, like a history of cancer.
Trustee Lance Gannon did not agree, saying the document did not need to be made longer with further explanations.
“I don’t see anyone opposing this,” Bausch said. “Bringing it back to the 28th is a couple weeks. I think that’s a reasonable request.”
While Trustee Nathan Williams agreed with Triggs and Baker that the policy could be further broken down, he also echoed Gannon’s concerns that the policy didn’t need to be adjusted.
“For me, the general impression, the general consensus of what we are trying to achieve here is achieved in this,” Williams said. “The language I am reading I am comfortable with.”
Ultimately, Item I7 was approved with a 4-3 vote, with trustees Triggs, Baker, and Bausch voting no.
The next regular school board meeting is scheduled for June 28 at 6 p.m.