Lagunitas teachers out of work

05/29/2014

In the continuing fallout from the closure of the Waldorf-Inspired Program at the Lagunitas School District, two Waldorf teachers have lost their jobs at the district and the fate of a third tenured teacher is up in the air. According to principal Laura Shain, the district received one request from a teacher to be transferred to the middle school, and two requests from teachers to be transferred to the Montessori program, but neither program ultimately accepted any teachers internally. Each program, Ms. Shain said, considers three criteria when evaluating transfer requests: education relevant to the program, the willingness of the teacher to embrace the philosophy and the willingness of the program to accept the teacher. After the programs declined the transfer requests, the board decided 4-1 last week not to renew the contracts for the two teachers without tenure, Marlo Kindermann and Vanessa Cudabac, and created a hiring committee to seek at least one, and perhaps two, Montessori teachers. Two middle school teachers have already been hired. The tenured Waldorf teacher, Dorothy Iselin, will not have her own classroom; instead she will fill in for other teachers on a substitute basis and take on other duties so that she remains full time. “What we do is look at where we can place her and where are needs are,” Ms. Shain said. The one dissenter in last week’s vote was board trustee Richard Sloan, who forcefully opposed the closure of the Waldorf program.