CVCHS loses principal; bond refinance saves MDUSD millions

Former CVCHS principal Jeff Anderson and Interim Executive Director Dave Fehte.

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, CA (Oct. 16, 2021) — In a school year that has placed extra stress on everyone involved in the educational process from school administrators to students, Clayton Valley Charter High School received an added, unexpected jolt when Principal Jeff Anderson suddenly retired last month.

Anderson had earlier informed the charter school’s interim Executive Director Dave Fehte and the governing board that the 2021-22 school year would be his last. Citing “personal circumstances,” Anderson announced he was retiring immediately, just a couple days after his weekly newsletter to the CVCHS community was emailed Sept. 21.

The next day Fehte sent an email to school parents. In part it said, “We will all miss Mr. Anderson’s presence around campus. I hope you join me in wishing him the best and thank him for his five years of service to Clayton Valley and the community. Soon, we will host an event for staff, students, and parents to give Mr. Anderson the sendoff he deserves.”

The governing board has its monthly meeting this week and it’s anticipated a process for finding Anderson’s successor will be discussed.

Anderson was hired in June 2017 to take the reins that fall for the sixth year of the Concord site as a charter school. Clayton Valley became a conversion charter school before the start of the 2012-13 school year. Dave Linzey was hired as the first executive director and he served in the dual capacity of executive director and principal for three years before hiring Jeff Eben as the first principal of CVCHS in 2015.

Eben served until September 2016 followed by co-principals Patrick Gaffney and John McMorris for the balance of that school year before Anderson was hired.

Fehte has been serving as interim executive director since March of this year when Jim Scheible left that position shortly after the majority of CVCHS students returned to campus on a part-time basis.

Bond refinancing saves MDUSD taxpayers millions

MDUSD Superintendent Dr. Adam Clark and Board President Cherise Khaund

Mt. Diablo Unified School District announced last month that it recently refinanced $198 million in general obligation bonds, which “will save District property owners more than $48 million in taxes over the next 16 years.”

The District explained it had taken “advantage of interest rates that were near all-time lows due to the COVID pandemic and economic uncertainty” to refinance bonds originally sold in 2011 and 2012, when interest rates were higher.

The bonds were approved by MDUSD voters in 2002 and 2010 elections both titled Measure C. The funds from those bond elections were used to build new school facilities and provide for renovations, upgrades and other classroom improvements to existing schools. Interest rates on the old bonds ranged from 3.5% to 5.5% and the borrowing cost for the new bonds ranges from 0.08% to 1.79%. The District says the difference in rates will save property owners $48,698,777 through 2037.

“Our community has always trusted us by supporting our bond measures,” said Superintendent Adam Clark. “As stewards of taxpayer dollars, we felt this refinancing was the right thing to do.”

The final Measure C projects are due to be completed before the beginning of next school year with the exception of improvements at CVCHS which have been held in abeyance pending the resolution of a long-standing legal dispute between the District and charter school.

The District says homeowners can anticipate their property taxes reduced by an average of $5.25 per $100,000 in assessed valuation starting next year. The example provided is that District homeowners currently paying $90.90 per $100,000 in assessed value would see their property taxes drop to $85.65 per $100,000 in 2022-23.

On a home valued at $600,000, this would amount to a drop from $545.40 to $513.90 a year for an annual savings of $31.50. Over 16 years, the savings in the scenario would total approximately $473, depending on assessed value growth.

The District School Board unanimously approved the bond refinancing in August. “With rates near the lowest they have ever been, we wanted to take advantage and lock in savings for our taxpayers,” said Board President Cherise Khaund. “We are thrilled with the results of the sale.”

11 local students National Merit semifinalists

De La Salle NMS semifinalists Michael Kostolansky, Marcel Latasa and Samuel Pickett.

Eleven local seniors were recently named semifinalists in the 67th annual National Merit Scholarship program for the 2021-22 school year.

Northgate seniors Colin Bausley, Shivum Ganesh, Evan Leach and Aidan Sunbury along with Jack Holden of College Park were MDUSD students to achieve the honor.

Carondelet and De La Salle parochial high schools each had three semifinalists: Alison Arndt, Emily Hou and Kayla Nuti from Carondelet and Michael Kostolansky, Marcel Latasa and Samuel Pickett from De La Salle.

National Merit Scholarship Corporation announced the names of approximately 16,000 semifinalists in the National Merit Scholarship program. About 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth around $30 million will be offered next spring.

To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition. Approximately 95 percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and about half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title.

The 2021 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test for high school juniors served as an initial screen of program entrants.

Jay Bedecarré
Jay Bedecarré
Sports and Schools Editor at The Concord Clayton Pioneer | | Website

Jay Bedecarré is a long-time resident and writer in Concord and Clayton. He began his newspaper writing career while still a senior at Mt. Diablo High School and he has been part of The Pioneer since its inception in 2003. Jay also operates Bay Area Festivals, presenting events around the San Francisco Bay Area including Bay Area KidFest annually in Downtown Concord.