Two board member votes against AGHS principal returning are explained

The two members of the Lucia Mar school board who voted against letting the Arroyo Grande High School principal return to his job say they were unhappy about his indecision.

But a board member who backed Principal Ryan Pinker ton’s wish to stay in that position said Wednesday that he has done a good job and that he’s “a wo n d e r f u l face for the community.”

The Lucia Mar Unified School District board voted 5-2 late Tuesday to let Pinkerton keep his post, seven weeks after the same panel granted his request to become principal of Ocean View Elementary School in Arroyo Grande.

Pinkerton has held the top post at Arroyo Grande High since 2003.

The two dissenters on the board, David Foster and Paul Teixeira, said Pinkerton should have stuck with his decision after requesting the move to the elementary school.

Foster said it wuold be "unfair" to those at Ocean View Elementary to reverse the move that allowed Pinkerton to transfer there.

Board member Colleen Martin said she voted to let Pinkerton stay at the high school because she's pleased with the job he's doing.

Martin said she also supported his change of mind because it's important to maintain a known leader at Arroyo Grand High.

The development came as Lucia Mar undergoes a number of administrative changes.

In addition to Sharon Roemer leaving Ocean View after 10 years to become the district's assistant superintendent of instruction, Luca Mar has a new interim superintendent.

The district also has new principals at Nipomo High School, Mesa Middle School and North Oceano Elementary, which will be renamed Fairgrove Elementary in the new school year.

Board members must also respond to a recent county civil grand jury report that blasted their handling of rumors that two middle school principals would be fired or reassigned in the spring, and the apparent reversal of that rumored decision.

"Stability is what we need right now," Martin said.

Teixeira said that Ocean View's principal position was seen as a "plum" job with good students and parents.

He said Pinkerton should have honored his commitment, particularly to avoid more uncertainty at Ocean View after Roemer's move to the district office.

"I feel sorry for the kids," Teixeira said. "The kids are the victims."

Teixeira added that he doesn't' see how Pinkerton has resolved the issue of his duties at the high school putting stress on family commitments - a reason he gave for seeking the transfer.

He said he wished Pinkerton would have talked to him personally and that he didn't appreciate all the calls and e-mails from a number of parents lobbying for Pinkerton to stay at Arroyo Grande High.

"I don't have a problem with Ryan personally," Teixeira said. "It's just that he asked us to accommodate him, and we did."

Pinkerton said in response Wednesday only that he as thankful the board let him stay at the high school.

He vowed to help with the transition to a new principal at Ocean View and acknowledged that the board is in a tough spot until it finds a replacement.

"Having an unknown is not a good thing for parents, students and staff at Ocean View," he said.

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