Monterey County

Salinas principal re-assigned to new school, parents outraged

Salinas principals demoted

SALINAS, Calif. - Parents at a Salinas elementary school are fighting back after the school district demoted one of its principal.  On Friday, we told you the district felt the principal at Mission Park Elementary School didn't align with its leadership agenda.  But on Saturday we heard from both sides of the story, as an army of parents began standing up for their administrator.

Mission Park Elementary parents are devising a mission of their own: get their principal back at the helm.

"She's the foundation of our school and to uproot it would be, just an injustice and it's very disheartening to us," said Mission Park PTA president Nikki Rossi.

Principal Brinet Greenlee has been the top administrator at Mission Park Elementary School for two years.  But after the Salinas City Elementary School District re-evaluated its staff for next year, Greenlee didn't make the cut.  The new principal will be the fifth one in the last four years at Mission Park.

"Not a single administrator has been laid off or fired.  None, zero," said SCESD superintendent Juvenal Luza.

Luza is right.  Greenlee hasn't been fired.  She's been reassigned under the union contract, still has a job as a teacher for any grade level she wishes and has the opportunity to reapply to the administrative staff.

Luza said one of the reasons Principal Greenlee was demoted, was because her leadership skills didn't align with the district or the state's leadership approach.  He also said, "'we received parents complaining along the year."

Central Coast News has letters from six and seven year old students to be delivered to the district.  Parents and students said they were shocked.

"We really don't know where it's coming from to say that she is not right, not a right fit for our school," said Rossi.

The parents have started a Facebook page "Bring Back Brinet" and met at the school on Saturday to rally the parents behind Greenlee to bring their fight to the board meeting in June.

"If there's no basis for restructuring a system that's not broken, then they need to put it back in place and listen to their constituents and listen to the students," said Rossi.

Despite the frustration growing amongst parents, the superintendent said parents need to give the changes a chance next school year. 

The district said next year four principals are leaving.  One is retiring and the other three are moving closer to family.  In addition to Mission Park, Roosevelt Elementary School's principal has also been reassigned.

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