Education · Highlight · Visalia/Tulare

Visalia behavioral school principal resigns less than a week into school year

Robert Postler, the former principal at the new Creekside Community Day School in Visalia, resigned his position before the first week of school concluded.

Between the first day and his resignation, a 14-year-old student at the school was arrested for making criminal threats against classmates.

Visalia Unified School District Interim Superintendent Dr. Tamara Ravalin said Postler resigned for personal reasons, and the district accepted his resignation last Thursday. 

“School hasn’t been open very long, so that isn’t of course what we hoped for,” Ravalin said. “But it didn’t come as a shock as the days progressed because we were talking to the principal.” 

Creekside is a school for students who struggle with behavioral issues and have been placed on probation or have been expelled. 

VUSD took over operations of the school this year from the Tulare County Office of Education. 

Angela Sanchez, VUSD area superintendent for grades 9-12, is filling in as the principal at Creekside for the time being. She was the supervisor over the school, Ravalin said, so she will be the interim principal while the district searches for a permanent replacement. 

The district conducted a full recruitment to bring Postler into the fold, and will do so again, Ravalin said. 

“It varies depending on the candidate pool, but normally something like that would take a good six weeks,” Ravalin said. 

Because it was a personal decision, Ravalin said she didn’t want to speak for Postler, but she did get the sense from him that it wasn’t the right fit. 

“Working with this school with students who have special needs and need special support, it takes a person with a huge heart and a dedication to work with those students,” Ravalin said. 

TCOE Superintendent Tim Hire declined to comment about the situation to The Sun, saying the office of education isn’t involved in it since VUSD runs the school. 

But Hire did comment to the Visalia Times-Delta, saying, it’s an “unusual occurrence.” 

“In any classroom, students need to know that teachers care about them before any learning and behavioral changes can happen,” Hire told the Times-Delta. “Students need to know where boundaries are, so you’re creating an environment where everyone feels safe.” 

Daniel Gligich is a reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun, focusing on Fresno State Athletics and the southern San Joaquin Valley. Email him at