Education · Visalia

Could an ousted Visalia Unified Superintendent wind up on its Board?

As Visalia Unified School District prepares to fill a vacancy on its Board of Trustees created by the departure of John Crabtree, a slate of nine candidates have emerged to apply for the gig.

One is particularly noteworthy, per a report from the Visalia Times-Delta:

David Alviso, Brent Amos, Erik Anderson, Catalina Blair, Clinton Cain, Brittany Christenson, Juan Lopez, Todd Oto and Crystal Reynolds were each named as candidates Tuesday night…

Oto is a former Visalia Unified School District Superintendent, the predecessor to recently-retired chief Dr. Tamara Ravalin.

Amid a changing of the guard on the Board of Trustees, Oto faced heavy scrutiny for growing issues regarding student misbehavior on campuses and implementation of a wayward behavior policy.

His ouster also came shortly after a critical gaffe wherein Visalia Unified administrators inadvertently underreported academic performance figures to the California education officials, generating reputational damage to the schools.

Per the newspaper’s report, Oto and Lopez, a former Superintendent for Parlier Unified School District in Fresno County, are frontrunners for the job given their experience in the education sector.

A briefing during Tuesday’s Visalia Unified School Board meeting targets Nov. 2 for the determination of finalists and the potential appointment of a successor to Crabtree.

Les Hubbard is a contributing reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun.