Amid hope of rebirth in Bayview, new school’s principal quits

Sep 23, 2015 by

Hand written "I Quit" on a greenboard

The principal abruptly resigned, and there are other signs of trouble at San Francisco’s new $54 million middle school named for former Mayor Willie Brown Jr., a program meant to serve as an academic hub in the historically neglected Bayview neighborhood.

The school district’s goal is to provide stability, personalized learning, mental health counseling and a laboratory for budding engineers. But the middle school’s first five weeks are off to a rough start with Friday’s resignation of its Harvard-educated principal, Demetrius Hobson, which came as several parents expressed concern that the school’s culture tolerated bullying and teasing of academically minded kids.

“Mr. Hobson has cited personal reasons for his resignation,” Superintendent Richard Carranza wrote in a letter handed out Friday to parents picking up their children at the campus on Silver Avenue. The letter names Tony Payne, who directs preschool through eighth grade for the district, as interim principal until a new permanent leader can be hired.

“Please know that we will ensure a smooth leadership transition at the school,” Carranza wrote.

Scrutiny from donors

Some district officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Hobson was too inexperienced for the job. They said that parents had trouble reaching him and that he did too little to resolve conflicts at the school. Because the school is under intense public scrutiny from private donors, including the software company Salesforce, they suggested, the situation had to be dealt with quickly.

Hobson, 35, could not be reached for comment.

Source: Amid hope of rebirth in Bayview, new school’s principal quits – SFGate

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