Thoughts about superintendent’s recent pay raise

“Stepenosky’s success as an administrator?” “Stable leadership?” “He attracts talent?”

Let us be clear. The Las Virgenes Unified School District was a gem among school districts long before Stepenosky’s arrival, and will continue to be after his departure.

For LVUSD school board members to suggest that the success of our beloved school district has more to do with Stepenosky than it does with the hard-working teachers, instructors, maintenance workers, bus drivers, principals and every other person that puts their heart and soul every day into those schools and classrooms is more than disingenuous—it is a knife in the back to those people who really are responsible for LVUSD’s success.

I would suggest that Stepenosky’s effect on the quality of our schools is minimal, at best.

While the dollars we are talking about are negligible, it is the principle. It is deplorable that Stepenosky would take a larger raise than those who are truly responsible for the greatness of our schools.

It appears that our superintendent has much in common with our president. It seems he only wants to look out for himself and couldn’t care less about any of his employees or the people he was hired to serve.

Shame on Dan Stepenosky and shame on the LVUSD school board for going along with this.

Todd August
Agoura Hills

Your story on the recent raises granted to the Las Virgenes superintendent highlights a growing problem in our community: our schools are in decline.

My daughters attended LVUSD and now my grandchildren are, and as anyone who has been here for a long time can tell you, the schools are not the same as they were 10 years ago.

Last week you ran a story about the number of “new” administrators in the district. Am I the only one who can connect the dots? There has been a massive exodus of quality people from our schools over the past few years. The principal and assistant principal turnover, at least in our area, has been ridiculous.

I am highly suspicious of the facts quoted by board members in your article. Is LVUSD really in the “top 2 percent of the state?” I checked the California state website and found that our graduation rates lag behind Oak Park and other area schools.

The GreatSchools.org website has our schools ranked high but still below many nearby schools in other districts and highlights many complaints about bullying. Why is it those facts seem to be ignored?

Nowhere could I find anything that showed LVUSD in the “top 2 percent” of anything. Where does that number come from?

It seems the past several years have been more focused on winning football teams than maintaining excellence in our schools.

We should be more worried about retaining good teachers, not highly paid administrators who seem to be more concerned about their needs than the needs of the students and teachers.

It was interesting to note from your story that no other superintendent in our area receives a “retention bonus.”

You would think that the leader of our schools would want to be here and not have to be bribed to stay.

Instead of giving the superintendent a retention bonus, the board should be asking why so many good people—administrators and teachers—have chosen to leave over the past few years.

I agree with the concerns expressed by former union chief Sandi Pope: Where is the support and money for our teachers? For all they do for our children, shouldn’t they be the ones getting retention bonuses?

Melinda Cohen
Calabasas