Carondelet High announced this month that the school has begun the process of selecting a new president after Bonnie Cotter announced this will be her last school year at the all-girls parochial school in Concord.
Cotter came to Carondelet in April 2014, a year after the sudden passing of first-year president Jennifer Martin. Cotter will complete her sixth school year at CHS next May and the school anticipates having a new president in place by July 1.
A Buffalo, NY native, Cotter came to the West Coast from her family home in North Carolina in 2013 to a school in Orange County. “I realized rather quickly it wasn’t a good fit.” She began a job search and was hired by Carondelet the following spring.
“I had my first grandchild in December 2017 and that changed everything. I wanted to spend time with her and the rest of my family more than a couple times a year. I spoke to the board about finishing my contract at the end of the 2018-19 school year. With all we have going on with the new athletic complex and Jean Hofmann Center for Innovation we agreed I would stay through this school year.”
Jean Hofmann Center for Innovation
Under an unusual arrangement, Cotter is now a bi-coastal president, living in North Carolina and being on campus as needed. She conducts many meetings via teleconferencing. Last week, an executive search firm was at Carondelet gathering input from the board, Cotter and stakeholders as they begin the national search for her replacement.
Along with developing “a whole new way of approaching learning” to best prepare the school’s 800 students for college and careers, Cotter’s tenure has overseen a $38 million capital campaign which included the 6.5-acre Athletics Complex in Walnut Creek that added soccer, lacrosse, tennis, softball and aquatic facilities for Carondelet students and athletes and the Hofmann Center, which is on track to open this November.
Clayton Valley geared up for charter renewal process
Executive Director Jim Scheible has started his second year in charge of Clayton Valley Charter High facing a double-barreled challenge of securing the schools’ second charter renewal from the Contra Costa County Office of Education board this fall and also completing a successful WASC study and accreditation for six years.
Clayton Valley Charter will have its public hearing in front of the CCCOE board on Oct. 16 and that body is then expected to vote on the charter renewal Dec. 11, both meetings at the district office in Pleasant Hill.
In the last school year, the county approved both renewals before it and also granted a new charter.
The board which will decide CVCHS’s fate is made up of four first-term members and Mike Maxwell, who is in his second term but took office after the county approved a five-year renewal for Clayton Valley Charter in 2014. The school received its original three-year charter in March 2012 and began operating that fall.
The Clayton City Council on Tuesday voted 5-0 for a resolution in support of the charter renewal for Clayton Valley Charter High.
The school has an enrollment of about 2250 with a senior class this term of 600. There is a large waitlist for openings and the school has a lottery each year to prioritize applicants. CVCHS is a free public school utilizing facilities owned by the MDUSD.
The fallout from the contentious tenure of the school’s original executive director Dave Linzey is most likely the major sticking point in securing the renewal. The school has been proactively seeking support for the renewal this year from its parents, alumni and community leaders.
Concord High hosting career night Oct. 3
Local trade apprenticeship programs, career education certification programs at local community colleges, specialty schools, military branches and human services training programs will be on hand to share their opportunities so students and parents can explore the many pathways in career education after high school.
Concord High School principal Rianne Pfaltzgraff said, “We believe it is our duty to provide access to ALL opportunities that students might take advantage of. There are many professions that are lucrative, purposeful and necessary to our society that go unnoticed AND those professions require high level training and education. These career and technical post-secondary options are realistic pathways for many students and we want to highlight them and give them the spotlight they deserve as competitive and valuable professions.”
MDUSD district election maps update
MDUSD is narrowing its focus on potential maps for future by-trustee area elections. The district will be organized into five individual trustee areas in time for the 2020 election when the board seats of Joanne Durkee and Brian Lawrence are up for election. Trustees have always been elected by voters of the entire district.
A public hearing will be held at the Board of Education’s regular meeting next Monday, Sept. 23, to review the suggested maps.
Action may be taken at that meeting to narrow the number of maps for final consideration, make further revisions to draft maps and/or create a new map. All versions would then be reviewed at a public hearing in October.